Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays from US Route 20 in Mentor Ohio

Here are a few photos taken at the Commemorative Rose Garden on US Route 20 (also known as Mentor Avenue) in Mentor, Ohio. It was decorated with lights for the holidays. The photos were taken at dusk, and it was snowing lightly, so the scenes look rather gray. (Click on any image for a larger view.)

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The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Route 20 Scenic Byway Unveils 2011 Plans

Sorry I’m a little late with this, it got lost in a mountain of emails!


November 11, 2010 For Immediate Release

Route 20 Scenic Byway Unveils 2011 Plans

HAMILTON, N.Y. -- The Route 20 Association of New York State unveiled plans for 2011 during the organization's recent 10th Annual Meeting and Dinner at the Colgate Inn.

Association President Dr. Ellen McHale said, "Our plans for 2011 will build on the strong foundation put in place in 2010." She noted that efforts included a new website and a new road map and guide -- both of which created significant visibility for Route 20 this year.

"We are very pleased with the enthusiasm and travel generated by the Association's work in 2010, especially in these difficult economic times. Our strength comes from businesses and individuals on the Route 20 Scenic Byway and its neighboring corridor communities joining together to form a more singular voice," Dr. McHale said.

"All of our work in 2011,." Dr. McHale noted, "will be directed toward creating increased visibility and awareness of Route 20 and all the Scenic Byway has to offer. It bears repeating that our strength is in our membership; the larger the base the greater the strength."

The Association's 2011 initiatives include:

•Working with NYSDOT for the installation of Scenic Byway signage.
New Signage in 2011

•Assisting with the inauguration and operation of a soon-to-be-built Tourism Center on Route 20 in the Town of Cherry Valley.

•Adding to and enhancing the existing 16 scenic tours off Route 20 depicted on the map and guide.

•Adding races to the Road Challenge Series.

•Strengthening relationships with the counties, towns and villages through which the Byway passes.

•Reaching out to stakeholder groups such as family and senior travelers, cycling enthusiasts, history buffs, antiquers, cars clubs, and similar groups.

•Further enhancing the Route 20 website and printing a newly formatted 2011 Scenic Byway Guide and Road Map.

•Communicating Association initiatives and progress through the creation of a speakers bureau, regular newsletters and press releases and more frequent digital communications, including social media outlets.

In other business the membership present approved the adoption of a revised mission statement and elected two new members to serve three year terms on the Association Board of Directors.

They are:

•H. Alan Smith, a Route 20 resident from the Town of Pompey (Onondaga County). He is a retired Episcopalian clergyman and an avid cyclist.

•Ted Bartlett from the Village of Cazenovia (Madison County). Mr. Bartlett is a senior associate and award-winning senior preservation planner for the architecture firm of Crawford and Stearns in Syracuse, and chairman of the Cazenovia Historical Preservation/Architectural Advisory Review Committee.

Concluding the meeting was a presentation by Michael Bosak, RA, President of the Landmark Society of Greater Utica. Entitled, "The Importance of Historic Preservation for the Route 20 Scenic Byway Corridor," his presentation focused on historic preservation and restoration in Utica. He also emphasized the importance of preserving historic and significant structures as well as vistas and viewscapes along Route 20.

He noted that Route 20 remains the straightest, shortest and most direct route across New York State even though it has largely been passed by since the opening of the NYS Thruway in 1956. He said the greatest risk comes from historic and significant structures falling into disrepair due to the lack of financial resources and vistas and viewscapes being destroyed by modernization and new development.

He applauded the Association for its work in securing Scenic Byway status and working to draw attention to the importance Route 20 played in the westward expansion of the country.

About the Route 20 Association
The Route 20 Association of NYS is a 501(c)(3) volunteer and membership organization serving as stewards of the 108 mile Scenic Byway stretching from Duanesburg, Schenectady County on the east to LaFayette, Onondaga County, on the west. Additional information is available at

The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at

Friday, October 8, 2010

US20 In Ohio: Eleanor B. Garfield Park

Just a few hundred feet from the home of President James A. Garfield in Mentor Ohio on Mentor Avenue (US Route 20) is Eleanor B. Garfield Park. It is named for a relative of President Garfield; Eleanor was his granddaughter-in-law (the widow of Rudolph Hills Garfield). She also served as mayor of the city of Mentor. The park is 65 acres of nature and family recreation, with a large fishing pond and all types of fields and courts for sports, including a swimming pool.

If you are in the area visiting home of President James A. Garfield, take a trip just a few hundred feet west on US 20 and enjoy a walk in the park. Here are a few photos.

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The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at

Friday, July 9, 2010

US20 in Ohio: The Garfield Monument (Cleveland)

On the eastern edge of the city of Cleveland on US Route 20 (Euclid Avenue) in Lakeview Cemetery sits the impressive monument to James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States. The monument sits high on a hill - the highest location in the cemetery - allowing for a wonderful wide view of the downtown Cleveland skyline.

The Garfield Monument is just under 25 miles west of Garfield’s home, Lawnfield, also located on US Route 20 in Mentor Ohio and which is a National Historic site.

Hearing about the wonderful view of the city skyline seen from the upper level of the monument, I just had to check it out for myself. Not only is the view one of the best of the city, but the monument itself was impressive. Stained glass lights the rotunda, with a high dome that reflects warm, golden tones. A statue of Garfield stands in the center, with the rotunda dome rising high above.

Circular stairways lead to the second level, where you can peer down onto the statue, or better yet, step outside to a large observation area where the city view will amaze. The Peter B. Lewis building, designed by Frank Gehry, is also very visible, looking like a mass of twirling silvery ribbon.

Here are several photos that I took while visiting the monument a few weeks ago. If you are ever travelling through Cleveland – whether on US 20 or not – a visit to the Garfield Monument will be worth your while. (Don’t forget to head east and stop at Lawnfield.)

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The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at, here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Michael Czarnecki’s 2010 U.S. Route 20 Journey

Michael Czarnecki, author of the book "Twenty Days on Route 20" will be making another cross country journey on US Route 20 this year, and will be making stops along the way to talk about his trip and share in his past experiences.

Details, which include his 2010 schedule, are listed on the web site for Foothills Publishing. Stops are planned in the following communities: Watertown and West Springfield, MA; New Lebanon, Voorheesville and Seneca Falls, NY; North East, PA; Painesville and Fremont, OH; Elkhart, IN; Dubuque, IA; South Sioux City, Ainsworth and Crawford, NE; Casper, WY; Idaho Falls and Boise, ID; Burns, Bend, Sisters, Lebanon and Newport, OR.

Further details, including contact information for Michael, can be found on the Foothills Publishing web site.

The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at, here.

Friday, April 16, 2010

US Route 20 Video: Just For Fun

Things have been slow on the US Route 20 front. So when Google made available a feature where one could make a personalized Google search commercial, I decided to make one for US Route 20. It highlights all the different information you can find on the internet about the longest road in the United States – and that includes this blog! So here is my own little 35- second spot – just for fun (or for shameless self-promotion).

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The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at, here.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

US20 In Ohio: The (Haunted?) Riders Inn

US Route 20 has been around for a long time, and it passes by some older buildings which have a lot of history. Every now and then, stories float around about some of these buildings being haunted. One famous landmark building in my home town of Mentor, Ohio, that is reportedly haunted is “Lawnfield,” the home of President James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States . Stories vary, some say it’s Garfield himself that roams the halls, and some say it’s his wife Lucretia.

Just a few miles east of the Garfield home on US Route 20 in the neighboring city of Painesville Ohio is the Rider’s Inn, a very quaint restaurant/Bed and Breakfast that seems to also have one or more residents from “the other side” who make their presence known by either making themselves seen and/or heard.

According to, the Rider’s Inn "opened in 1812 as a hospitality stop along the rough stagecoach road between Buffalo and Cleveland. The inn, named for its founder and his wife, Joe and Suzanne Rider, was also a major stop along the underground railroad and a refuge for Union soldiers returning home after the Civil War."
There are many local stories of what guests and visitors have seen and heard at Rider's Inn. But forget the ghosts. The Rider’s Inn is a nice place to stop in for a visit, a meal, or a stay if you’re travelling cross country on US Route 20. Here is the address and web site information:

Rider’s Inn
792 Mentor Ave.
Painesville, OH 44077
440 354-8200

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The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at, here.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

US20 in New York: The Finger Lakes

(Click on map for larger view)

One of the nicest areas in the US to which US Route 20 leads is in New York State, as US 20 passes through the Finger Lakes region. US 20 runs concurrently with New York State Route 5 in the Finger Lakes region and travels directly north of the following lakes: Canandaigua, Geneva, Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles, and Otisco. The Finger Lakes were formed many years ago by glaciers which first carved out the land, then their melt water helped to create the lakes. The lakes’ distinctive formation – long and narrow like fingers – makes them easy to spot on satellite imagery.

NASA aerial shot of the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes area is a well known vacation spot for water related recreation, and there are also plenty of things to do and see not having to do with the lakes themselves. There are many scenic places for sightseeing, camping, hiking, and picnicking, along with wineries, shopping, antiquing, and other family fun places. With many lodging choices, it’s also a perfect area for a getaway.

The area was once populated by the Iroquois, and two of the largest lakes (Seneca and Cayuga) are named after Iroquois tribes.

If you would like more information on travel to US Route 20 and the Finger Lakes, here are a few resources:

US20 Sign outside Geneva

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The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found at, here.