“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Lusk in Niobrara County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)

Lusk Rest Area

Lusk Rest Area Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 7, 2016
1. Lusk Rest Area Marker
Although paved highways have existed in the U.S. since the 1920s, rest areas are a more recent feature of highway travel. In the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson and First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson promoted a nationwide effort to beautify highways through landscaping, removal of billboards and construction of enhanced rest area facilities. This effort let to congressional passage of the Highway Beautification Act of 1965.

In February 1966, the Wyoming Highway Department, contracted a Wyoming architect to design the Lusk Rest Area as Wyoming’s first roadside beautification area. The original, built by a local contractor, included the historic Lathrop Monument, and featured the first flush toilets, heated restrooms, sewer system, and hot and cold water in a Wyoming rest area. With shelter arbors, picnic tables, fire grills and children’s recreational facilities including a slide, merry-go-round and swings, it quickly became a popular local picnic area.

Over the years, Wyoming rest areas set design standards using innovation and a prototype design for passive solar buildings in the 1980s. In 1998, Wyoming Department of
Lusk Rest Area and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Barry Swackhamer, June 7, 2016
2. Lusk Rest Area and Marker
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Transportation partnered with Federal Highway Administration and a Wyoming architect to develop an updated rest area prototype design, incorporating passive solar with geothermal elements to create maximum energy efficiency.

The Lusk Rest Area was selected as Wyoming’s first 21st century rest area upgrade. The original steel arch picnic arbor rook supports were reused as landscape architectural elements and the site reopened to the public in November, 2000.
Erected by Wyoming Department of Transportation.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #36 Lyndon B. Johnson series list.
Location. 42° 44.874′ N, 104° 28.919′ W. Marker is near Lusk, Wyoming, in Niobrara County. Marker is on U.S. 18 at milepost 39 near Silver Springs Road, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3925 US Highway 18, Lusk WY 82225, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Breaks in the Prairie (within shouting distance of this marker); Cheyenne-Deadwood Trail (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); George Lathrop (about 400 feet away); The C & H Refinery (approx.
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1.3 miles away); Oldest Building in Lusk (approx. 1.8 miles away); Niobrara County Courthouse (approx. 1.8 miles away); Redwood Water Tank (approx. 2.2 miles away); a different marker also named Redwood Water Tank (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lusk.
More about this marker. This marker is located at the Lusk Rest Area, about 1 1/2 miles west of Lusk on U.S.Highway 18 (also U.S. Highway 20).
Credits. This page was last revised on July 28, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 30, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 445 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 30, 2016, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.

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Jan. 26, 2023