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Ashland Historical Society * Saline Ford Historical Preservation Society

Preserving the rich history of the Ashland NE community & area
AHS About Us
HISTORY - Ashland NE
AHS Contact Us
Ashland Arts Council
Ashland Arts - Events
BEETISON Home and Mansion
Earnest A. Wiggenhorn
Clay Anderson Astronaut
Route 6 - Historic US 6
Ashland Stir Up Days
Site Map AHS
Route 6 is the longest continuous highway in the nation;
running from Provincetown,on Cape Cod, MA to
Long Beach / Lancaster CA; a distance of 3,652 miles

MANY folks have asked . . about the road(s) /route(s)
that were called the  O-L-DD-L-DNE 7NE 11US 38,  &  US 6 . . .
"just WHERE did U.S. 6 go through 'downtown Ashland' . .
"where was that again . . "       "when was that . . "
we answer that in historic detail,
including  never-before-seen pictures  with the . . . .
^ ^  UPDATED   October 12th 2013 - 49 page edition  NEW Maps & Pictures added ^ ^  
Huebinger's Map & Guidebook
of the Omaha to Denver  Trans-Continental Route
originally called the  "O-L-D . . & . . The White Pole Route" 
the original Map & Guide Book was published in 1911
The "Ashland Boosters Club" & the "O-L-D Association"
are pictured in the Map & Guide Book, as they traveled
on the inaugural opening 'road trip'
1911 was also the inauguration of the Ashland Platte River Bridge
"located 1  1/2 miles NE of Ashland" . . crossing the Platte River
 at the 'Rifle Range' . . (today's  Camp Ashland)

>    The pages of this presentation are of the entire publication  <

and are copies of the original 1911 publication of the Huebinger’s Map and Guide Book

for the OMAHA - DENVER  Trans-Continental Route

(Originally known as the O-L-D [Omaha-Lincoln-Denver] )


note - the attachment is nearly 200 pages !
it may take a few seconds to 'open' - be patient  it is worth the wait  !



The Huebinger’s Map & Guide Book, of the Trans-Continental Route

Omaha - Denver, produced by Iowa Publishing Co. of Des Moines IA, for the 1911 opening of the road is

a real treasure of pics, advertising [used by “Huebinger’s” to support the printing, distribution & sales of the map & guide

& the “Commercial Clubs” precursor to “Chambers of Commerce”] to ‘promote’ the establishment of the route . .

with white-background-signage with O L Din black letters painted on telephone poles, etc. to designate the route.
The MAPS & PIC’s contained in the publication, use interesting landmark designations

. . i. e.; “Brick House” designation of the Joseph Stambaugh House, just N of Ashland NE


We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of the Library of Congress;

(original format F666 .H59) who have made the ‘original publication’ Public Domain.


“ Public Domain: This work is in the Public Domain, meaning that it is not subject to copyright.

Users are free to copy, use, and redistribute the work in part or in whole. 

It is possible that current copyright holders, heirs or the estate of the authors of individual portions of the work,

such as illustrations or photographs, assert copyrights over these portions. . . .  "

(excerpt from definitions of Public Domain)


The AHS provides this edition for redistribution; a complete and largely unedited edition;

having copyrighted © those portions described & inserted.

The AHS request that this copyrighted © edition be used for non-commercial & historical purposeswith only one proviso:
Ashland Historical Society be noted in credits & footnotes  * please notify AHS via


The AHS has reproduced this for informational & historical purposes.


The Ashland Historical Society  has also produced a condensed-edited-annotated version . . . see ABOVE

of the same book, as it traversed from Lincoln-Waverly area-through Ashland–and on to Omaha.


 That version contains never-before-seen pictures, obtained

 by the AHS, as well as notes of where is that now  ? ?  circa 2013


Thank You

The Ashland Historical Society is a proud member of

Be sure to visit
for more about this Historic Highway's national history
 The history, since 1911, of Historic U. S. / NE Route 6
how ASHLAND grew as a result of this important highway
How ROUTE 6 began . . it has had several different 'names' & 'highway numbers'
over the years, but it has ALWAYS been an important part of Ashland history

NEW ! !    " Stay on Route 6"   blogspot !
( See all of Malerie's blogs - current articles & archives - by 'clicking' the blue link )
SCROLL DOWN for several updates, including February of 2013 !
Malerie's Blog - reprint of post of October 2011 . . ^ naming Ashland in top 10 Main Streets
Malerie Yolen-Cohen, author of the "Stay On Route 6" blog
visited Historic Ashland on Saturday the 11th of June,
while on her cross-country trip along US 6, which began May 20th,
at the east coast origin of US 6 in Provincetown MA
A REPRINT of Suzi Nelson's  ^  Ashland Gazette article,  ^  following Malerie's visit
NOTE: Malerie's entire archived blog including,
videos & pics of her entire 3,652 mile trip,
can be seen by viewing her blogspot (link above)
LINK  ^  ^  Malerie's posting
STAY ON ROUTE 6 - the BOOK  has just been released !
" Fan of the Open Road ? "
"Toss the Print Version of Stay On Route 6 on Your Dash and DRIVE: "
Malerie & the U S Route 6 Tourist Association are making
Malerie's book is also available on AMAZON
click on "Amazon" above to order there
P. S. & suggestion - be sure to go back to 
the Amazon site to present your review !
2 GREAT things happen - Malerie sells more books ! - more folks visit Ashland !
 NOTE to Malerie . . We're expecting you soon for the book tour ! !
The "Brass Band" is practicing for your arrival 
'Scroll down' to  LEARN MORE about the  US Route 6 Tourist Association
Malerie met with the 'AHS welcoming party' at Cheri O's for lunch
and was interviewed by Suzi Nelson of the Ashland Gazette
See our Facebook page for more pics of Malerie's visit
Cheri O'Kelly, owner of Cheri O's, welcomes Malerie
Marti Fritzen, Peg Lutton & Malerie Yolen-Cohen,
as Malerie prepares to depart Ashland & resume her Great Advnture,
following her tour & luncheon on June 11th
UPDATE:  From our Facebook Page:
Malerie's "Great Adventure on Historic Route 6"
has made its way along the entire 3,652 mile journey to CA.
We were so honored to have had her spend a few hours
with us in Historic Ashland NE on June 11th, 2011
Malerie has been updating her blog and has completed 
a MUST HAVE book, on her return home.
Thank You Malerie!
We have enjoyed traveling with you :)
MAY 2012 - Stay On Route 6 . . the BOOK is now available !
Scroll back . . . links are available
  ^  further up on this page  ^  to order YOURS !
Ashland Historical Society - Ashland NE  While Malerie made her historic trip in a bit more modern mode of transportation, this being a 'historical society' communication,
we needed to recall how the family went on vacation in the 1947 Chevy motor coach!
Our oxcart logo depicts their mode of travel in the 1850's :)
travel & camping in the 1940 - 1950's

Historic U. S. 6 & Nebraska U. S. Route 6 remain an important part of Ashland today
 It should be said, that the route that traverses this storied & historic past has

humble beginnings in the State of Nebraska on May 16, 1911 in Holdrege Nebraska.

This highway designation was founded & begun in 1911 as the

Omaha-Denver  Trans-Continental Route Association


The inauguration of the route was originally known as
the Omaha-Lincoln- Denver, or O-L-D, (also called the White Pole Route :
following the extension through IA & other states to Detroit was completed,
it was referred to as the Detroit-Lincoln-Denver, or the D-L-D;
then becoming NE 7,(1922),  US 38 (1926) and finally US 6.
 The US 6 designation began to stretch (1931 - 1937) from Provincetown MA to Long Beach CA:
making US 6 the Oldest, Longest and Highest of the "old roads " ! when the "signage" was done.
The US 6 Transcontinental Route mileage travels from coast to coast, through
14 states, is 3,652 miles with a high point of 11,990 feet [Loveland Pass CO].
The map picture above lists the 3 hotels of the day . . Hotel Selma, pictured below
. . for the rate of $2.00 per night . . "American Plan" . . including meals !
The map above was produced by the Omaha-Denver Transcontinental Association,
formed in Holdrege NE on May 11th 1911. The association commissioned
Huebinger's Map & Guide for Omaha-Denver Transcontinental Route
(The Iowa Publishing Co. of Des Moines IA produced the above map in the Map and Guide Book)
The Huebinger Map & Guide & The Iowa Publishing Company produced the map
by selling advertising of local merchants along the O-L-D Transcontinetal Route
One such ad touted the attributes of the newly completed Ashland Platte River Bridge, adjacent to the Rifle Range, today's Camp Ashland
The advertising is shown at the left - the photo of toll gate & toll house is shown at the right.
The NSHS has recently contributed a postcard photo that we believe is of the Ashland-Platte River Bridge
NEW  never-before-seen-pictures  of the Ashland Platte River Bridge are available for viewing
 - see link to   'condensed-edited-annotated version'  Map & Guide Book    shown above
The AHSgratefully acknowledges Bob Fricke, a direct descendant of the Wiggenhorn family,
whose Great Great Grandfather actually built the bridge, for pictures taken at the time from family archives.
Note that the map shows different names of the streets in Ashland;
with the exception of Silver Street - where the highway travels N
on "today's 14th street / NE highway 66" it passes the "Brick House",
a historic family home built by the Joseph Stambaugh family, today known
as the Delmar Kolb home; then proceeds E on the road
to today's Camp Ashland - then known as the "Rifle Range" . . .
then crosses the Platte River on the Ashland Platte River Bridge

Today the home, that was the Delmar Kolb home with a ranch style addition on the west side of the original house

Delmar's daughter Sharon resides there today (2014) after extensive restoration & renovation, following a fire. 

The map picture below shows the "TOLL RATES" for the bridge

We provide the reprint of the excerpts above, with grateful acknowledgement

to an August 2002 published report, prepared for the Nebraska State Historical Society

and the Nebraska Department of Roads, now known as the (NDOR)


We have recently produced a copy of the entire unedited edition of the 1911

Huebinger's Map & Guide Book; obtained from the Library of Congress

A link to that entire publication is available, above

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

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




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:



Bibliography & Acknowledgements
We wish to express our grateful acknowledgement to the many who have made this page possible:
The photos and stories that were made available by the AHS Members & Friends
The Nebraska State Historical Society, The NDOR, The Route 6 Tour Association; Russ & Mary Lombard;
Founders of the Route 6 Tour Association, Several volunteers work very hard to place Historic Route 6 signage among the route.
Examples are Route 6 - Iowa Division; Dave Darby, Executive Director, Marcia Kuiper, NE Executive Director and SO many others.
David was awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award, awarded by the Points of Light Foundation at a celebration Dec 10, 2013.
You may learn more about the tour association:
EACH of the 14 states have a FACEBOOK page, as well as the National Facebook page.
We also wish to acknowledge and thank Suzi Nelson of the Ashland Gazettefor her
many contributions from the archives of the newspaper in Ashland; since 1879

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