Tour the Father Road
There's a lot to see along the Lincoln Highway in Grand Island and Wood River. See the historic downtown district anchored by the recently restored Grand Theatre, a 1937 Art Deco building on 3rd Street, just off the Lincoln Highway. The million dollar restoration included replacing the façade with glass and a marquee replicating the original. A museum of Grand Island show houses is in the basement. Call ahead for a tour or see movies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Across the street from the theatre is the Wine Bar, in a Lincoln Highway era building formerly used as a candy shop. The interior contains many original elements from the 1930s. Further down the street is the Coney Island lunch counter, open since the 1930s, where you can still get marvelous malts and award-winning chili. The 1935 menu still hangs on the wall over the grill.
The tiny Kensinger filling station, east of town, has been open since 1933.
Just north of the Kensinger Station is the only piece of original paved Seedling Mile that remains in the U.S. Poured in 1915, it is a nationally significant piece of remaining road bearing a recently placed historical marker.
Further east, on the corner of Highway 30 and Shady Bend Road, stands the filling station building from the Shady Bend Cabin Camp. The camp was well known for its tennis courts, pool, and roaming herd of buffalo. The same family has owned the building since it was built and recently reopened the space as an Italian restaurant. They would love to tell you stories from the tourist haven’s heyday!
The first monitoring station constructed for the exclusive use of the Federal Radio Commission (later the Federal Communications Commission) still stands 5 miles west of Grand Island on Monitor Road between 13th Street and Old Potash Road. The main station building was constructed from plans and specifications prepared by the U. S. Navy. Groundbreaking ceremonies were held in October 1929.