2:00 p.m. Sunday, October 14

image of program invitation card

“Did you know the road that would become US Highway 20 began as a Native American path leading the earliest settlers out of Boston?

The audience will learn that and much more about the nation’s transcontinental US Route 20 when Bryan Farr presents “Historic Route 20 – A Journey Across America’s Longest Highway” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14 at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. Admission will be free; a reception will follow.

“George Washington would follow the same path, now a postal road, to take command of the Continental Army near Boston,” says Farr, president of the Historic US Route 20 Association, Chester, Mass.

Following the Revolution, the route developed to accommodate westward expansion across New York establishing settlements along Lake Erie and beyond. The route was home to three U.S. Presidents - Grant, Garfield and Hayes - and was frequented by Lincoln on campaign stops.

As automobile development allowed people to travel longer distances in a shorter time the need for good roadways increased. Auto groups began promoting a route between Boston, Chicago and Yellowstone Park as early as 1912. By late 1925, it was designated “transcontinental US Route 20.”

Farr took his first cross-country journey on U.S. 20 in 2010, as an alternative to the famous Route 66. Along the way he found many locations equal to or surpassing what one finds on 66. These discoveries led to a book and formation of a non-profit organization to promote the small towns, sites and history of this great American highway.

The organization is presently seeking to identify the original 1926 alignment of Highway 20 across Iowa as a “State Historic Trail/Byway.”