The photo of the bridge above, crossed the Burlington Railroad in 1911, extending the O-L-D
across Salt Creek & into Ashland, on today's 30th street - then East down Silver Street
The bridge is closed, however, is still in place (2014) - adjacent to Mechanics Inc. & Parkers Smoke House
just North of the US Hwy 6 & NE 63 intersections, about 3 miles west of Ashland
A huge thank you to Lee Graham of Ashland for this great panaroma photo of the historic bridge
We have learned that caravans of 'ambassadors' from the villages, towns & cities
traveled along the newly opened O-L-D route - with celebrations held in each.
Celebrations were hosted by the 'Commercial Club', the local 'OLD Association', Rotary, local business owners, etc.
We have recently acquired 2 photos, below, that are of the celebrations in & near Ashland
The cars with flags and the age of those cars are similar to other photos contained in the
Map & Guide Book is of Ashland's celebration and 'Road Trip' of the O-L-D Association
The BANNERS on the cars, on close inspection, show the OLD letters and "BEST DIRT ROAD IN THE COUNTRY"
The alignment of the D-L-D * chosen for survey is the 1911-1925 route
and represents the highway’s early development and popularity as a named route.
In May of 1911, proponents of improved highways and representatives from towns
and 17 counties along the Burlington Railroad in Nebraska met in Holdrege (NE)
and formed the Omaha-Denver Transcontinental Route Association
Many of the Officers, Executive Committee and Vice Presidents were
Members, Owners and Directors of banks in their community, of the day.
One such businessman, who envisioned the future of automobile travel, was from Ashland Nebraska.
Earnest A. Wiggenhorn, Jr. was the son of the founder of Farmers and Merchants Bank (1883)
in Ashland , who saw the need for a dependable (steel) bridge across the Platte River near Ashland.
He built a steel bridge that spanned the Platte River, crossing near 'The Rifle Range'
(today’s Camp Ashland); about 1 ½ miles North-East of Ashland,
connecting the route to Omaha to the East & Denver to the West.
The Ashland Platte River Bridge, a toll bridge, was advertised in many of Huebinger’s map and guide books and was used daily
until the now-US 6 bypass was built in the early 1930’s, that passes South of the Burlington Railroad tracks,
adjacent to the iconic Linoma Lighthouse[restoration of the lighthouse began in 2013].
NOTE: the bank is still in family ownership, under the direction of the CEO and President,
Bob Fricke, who is the Great Great Grandson of the founder and the oldest business in
Ashland NE under the same family ownership. The picture below was donated to
The Ashland Historical Society& is one of several donated from Wiggenhorn-Frickefamily albums.
By July of 1911 the association had laid out a route between Omaha and Denver, spanning
632 miles across Nebraska and paralleling the Chicago Burlington & Quincy Railroad
* the White Pole Route designation came about as the "OLD" association
sought to "mark" the route . . before numbers . . by painting poles along
the route with a 14-18" white band and the the stenciled letters "OLD" in black.
The route was originally known as the Omaha-Lincoln- Denver, or O-L-D,
but after the extension to Detroit was completed,
it was referred to as the Detroit-Lincoln-Denver, or the D-L-D.
In 1922 the route became part of the (NE) state highway system.
For a time the NE Department of Roads designated the route as NE 7.
Much of the alignment of the D-L-D Highway was designated as U.S. 38 in 1926.
The U. S. 6 designation was incorporated into the federal highway system in 1931.
In addition to becoming a numbered route, other significant changes to the highway
began to take place, including rerouting and realignment.
After becoming part of the federal highway system in 1926,
the highway entered into a second phase of development.
Information concerning Historic Route 6 and the various designation:
HISTORY and NOTES: The route of current US 6 in Nebraska was numbered as N-7 in the mid 1920's
after the multi-numbered 1922 system was revised. In 1926, this became part of the new US-38.
On June 8, 1931, US-38 was decommissioned, and this route was
absorbed as part of a US-6 extension to both coasts by 1937.
The 1922 numbers consisted of the following: N-69 from Colorado to Culbertson;
N-67 from Colbertson to Oxford; N-56 from Oxford to Holdredge;
N-53 from Holdredge to Hastings; N-40 from Hastings to Fairmont;
N-32 from Fairmont to Dorchester (unnumbered from Dorchester to Lincoln);
and N-21 from Lincoln to Omaha
We gratefully aknowledge this information from NorthernPlainsHighways.org/Nebraska
Several Ashland Landmarks were part of the route:
The Farmers & Merchants Bank building, containing the Selma Hotel,
opened in 1888, were an important landmark & are mentioned on the map
A little known historical "Factoid" about the Farmers & Merchants Bank & Selma Hotel building
We've paved the streets since these pictures were taken ! first with brick, and today they are concrete
NEED FUEL and SERVICE while traveling ? ?
Forrest L. Raikes built the 'filling station' & garage building pictured below, circa 1922
Note the "US 38" signage on the canopy . . left of "VULCANIZING"
The Raikes Garage, built by Forrest L. Raikes in 1922, was on the original Highway 6
in the days when the section through Ashland and was called US 38until NOV of 1926.
(see US 38sign on the canopy - left of the word VULCANIZING)
Photo courtesy of Shirley (Raikes) Hemke, daughter of Forrest L. Raikes
Mr. Raikes operated his John Deere & Goodyear dealerships until, his retirement.
The beautifully restored building @ 16th & Silver Streets,
has been the home of LEE SAPP FORD for several years.
The picture below was taken by Mr. Raikes for Ashland's Centennial in 1957
It should be noted that "Forrest" LOVED photography !
MANY Ashlanders had their wedding pictures, high school graduation & reunion pictures, etc.
taken by "Forrest". Upon 'retirement', he built an addition to his home for a studio;
continuing his 'hobby' as a full-time business until his accidental & untimely death.
Forrest served as Chairman of the Ashland Centennial Committee in 1957
MANY buildings were built along Silver Street - then Route 6
that still serve Ashland today:
Two such important landmarks are the National Bank Building
and the Sheffer Building, built in 1902, which served as the home of
P . W. Folsom Jewelry from 1905, for over 49 years
The National Bank Building; built 1889, is now Lutton Law Office, and listed on the National Register
The Lutton family has completely restored this Landmark and continues to preserve it today
picture postcard of the National Bank building & N side of Silver Street, circa 1909
This photo shows the 'cupola' on top of the building - no date available, when it was removed
Link to > AHS Society / Events Calendar page for details about P W Folsom Jewelry & the building
US ROUTE 6 was re-routed to its present route in the early 1930's:
This included new bridges for the highway & the railroad
and new opportunities for commerce:
New buildings, the "B. J. Arnold Triangle", Barnes Oil Company
and several other fuels stations, motels, etc. were built.
Pictured below is the Barnes Oil Company in 1932
and the building restoration as the Farmers & Merchants Bank.
The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
Below is another of the many businesses that opened along the
new Hwy 6 bypass of the 1920's along the south side of Ashland
SAINT STEPHENS EPSICOPAL CHURCH
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is a fine example of Gothic Revival architecture.
Board and batten construction adds to its individuality, and the building has
undergone only minor alterations since its construction in 1872.
St. Stephen's is the oldest church building in Ashland.
The Ashland Arts Council is the 'owner' of this historic landmark
The Arts Council offers several concerts each year
and an Art Show during Stir-Up Days each July.
See the Ashland Arts Council pages on this site, for more history of St. Stephens
This historic treasure is located just one block North of Lee Sapp Ford
We hope that you enjoy what we have published above
We will be adding more pictures, history & "stories"
from the archives . . and from YOUR contributions !
Please send your 'pics' stories to: