As early as 1915, Sutherland was mentioned in “The Complete Official Road Guide of the Lincoln Highway” published by the Lincoln Highway Association. It lists Sutherland as being 1769 miles from New York and 1615 from San Francisco. This is slightly different than the current mileage, which can be attributed to straighter roads.
Of Sutherland, the guidebook says: One hotel. Two garages: storage, night, 50c; washing, $1.00. Gas, 18c; Oil, 60c. Local speed limit, 12 m.p.h. enforced. Route marked through town and county; signs at town limits. Extensive road improvement planned for 1915. Good detour road without mileage increase over L.H. Two banks, 1 R.R., 18 general business places, 1 Exp. Co. 1 Tel. Co. 1 newspaper, 2 public schools, 50 automobiles owned. L.H. Local Consul, A. W. Hootson.
Today, the guidebooks have changed. Rather than being the sole resource for information along the road, they are enticing marketing pieces designed to spur travelers to leave I-80 and find adventure in the small towns along the way.
Sutherland is not overlooked in these guidebooks either. The Kearney Hub has published “The Lincoln Highway, Nebraska’s Longest Main Street Celebrates 100 Years”, and on page 99 is a full page photo of the Frontier gas station, taken last fall after the roof had been replaced. Famed Lincoln Highway historian Brian Butko’s latest book “The Lincoln Highway Photos Through Time” features two Sutherland photos, one of the completely un-restored Frontier gas station on page 31 and one of the recreated billboard at Sportsmen’s Cove. Our restoration efforts are mentioned in another Brian Butko book “Greetings from the Lincoln Highway, A Road Trip Celebration of America’s First Coast-to-Coast Highway” on page 162.
Efforts to spruce up our town have not gone unnoticed by the visitors traveling through. All of the improvements, whether mentioned in the guidebooks or not, done by property owners or volunteers, is greatly appreciated and goes a long way in making Sutherland a nicer place to live.