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West Wendover in Elko County, Nevada — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

The Victory Highway

 
 
The Victory Highway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 19, 2016
1. The Victory Highway Marker
Inscription.  The Victory Highway monument is a representation of the earlier bronze eagle markers of the 1920s. Original eagle markers were to be located at each county line with a plaque dedicated to the sons and daughters who served their country in World War I, sacrificing their lives for our freedom. Only five original bronze eagles are known to be in existence, two in Kansas and three in California. The Victory Highway is a near-forgotten relic of the early 20th century roadways, a path traversed by early auto-pioneers from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. The road you are standing on today was completed in 1925 and used until the 1940s. Highway U.S. 40 replaced the Victory Highway to the south, which is now known as Wendover Boulevard. The arch represents the Victory Highway sign, used at the only documented official ceremony opening the Victory Highway. The ceremony took place on June 25, 1925, just east of Wendover on the Bonneville Salt Flats. Officiating were Utah Governor George Dern, Nevada Governor James Scrugham, and Secretary of Agriculture William Jardine.

Association Incorporated
The Victory Highway Association incorporated
Marker detail: Victory Highway dedication, 1925 image. Click for full size.
2. Marker detail: Victory Highway dedication, 1925
in Topeka, Kansas, late in 1921 to locate and mark a transcontinental highway. Victory Highway, dedicated to American Forces who died in World War I, traversed the United States from New York City to San Francisco. In 1925, the transcontinental route offered a panorama of the mid-section of the country that epitomizes the western expansion of the Nation from Colonial days to the present time. For 3,205 miles, this great motorway follows the same course, or one closely parallel, as that of the earliest settlers of the Ohio, Mississippi, and Missouri valleys, crossing 14 states in all. Less than 14 per cent or 788 miles of the highway was unimproved.

From Salt Lake City, the Victory Highway skirts around Great Salt Lake over the famous Wendover Cutoff. The crossing of the salt flats between Salt Lake City and Wendover on the Utah/Nevada border was costly, involving five years of labor. The remarkable engineering feat bridged what was once a great obstacle to transcontinental motor travel, the Bonneville Salt Flats. This accomplishment blazed a new auto-route across northern Nevada to Reno, parallel to the Lincoln Highway to the south. In the early to mid-twenties, only 81 miles of the 371 miles of the Victory Highway across Utah were paved, 107 miles consisted of gravel surfacing, and 183 miles were relatively unimproved. The Victory Highway was designated Route No. 40 by
The Victory Highway Marker (<i>wide view; Wendover Boulevard in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 19, 2016
3. The Victory Highway Marker (wide view; Wendover Boulevard in background)
state and federal highway officials shortly after the Wendover Cutoff was completed, and the Victory Highway was used until it was replaced in the 1940s.

An original culvert to the east of this marker still exists today. When a newer portion of Highway 40 was constructed in the 1940s, this section of the Victory Highway, along with culverts, was left intact. Constructed of stone and galvanized steel, these culverts are a testament to the skills of road engineers and rock masons of the early 19th century.

Federal Highway
In 1921, the federal government passed the Federal Highway Act of 1921. A similar act, passed in 1916, provided matching funds to the states for highway construction. Unlike the 1916 act, the 1921 act required the states to identify seven percent of its total mileage as “primary”; only these roads would be eligible for federal funds. In the ten years prior to the 1921 act, the United States went from having one named highway to having an unorganized and confusing system of multiple-named highways. As a result, a numbered highway system was formed to organize the national highways across the United States. In most states, the Lincoln Highway was the obvious choice as a federal road, but there were a few exceptions, the greatest challenge being Utah. Despite numerous reports and heavy lobbying by the Lincoln Highway Association,
Marker detail: Victory Highway map image. Click for full size.
4. Marker detail: Victory Highway map
the federal government selected the Wendover route or “Victory Highway” (Route No. 40) as the federal road across Utah and Nevada.
 
Location. 40° 44.442′ N, 114° 4.368′ W. Marker is in West Wendover, Nevada, in Elko County. Marker can be reached from Wendover Boulevard west of North Gene L. Jones Way, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located along the south side of the Victory Highway Monument Arch walkway, south of the West Wendover Police Department complex parking lot and just north of the giant "Wendover Will" landmark. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1552 Wendover Boulevard, West Wendover NV 89883, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lincoln Highway (here, next to this marker); Western Pacific Railroad (a few steps from this marker); Historic Wendover Field (a few steps from this marker); Ancient Lake Bonneville (a few steps from this marker); The Hastings Cutoff (within shouting distance of this marker); Transcontinental Telephone Line (within shouting distance of this marker); Wendover Will Reclaims Skyline Once Again (within shouting distance of this marker); 509th Composite Group – First Atomic Bombardment (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Wendover.
 
Also see . . .
1. Victory Highway (Wikipedia).
The Victory Highway Arch & Monument (<i>located beside this marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 19, 2016
5. The Victory Highway Arch & Monument (located beside this marker)
inscription on plaque:
Victory Highway
West Wendover has established this Historic Interpretive Walking Trail in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management and the Nevada Commission on Tourism to help preserve and inform the public about this important era in U.S. history.
Dedicated July 1, 2009
When the United States Numbered Highways system was introduced in 1926, the Victory Highway route was supplanted mostly by U.S. 40. The Victory Highway Association continued to promote tourism along the route, but as the importance of named highways declined, the association renamed itself the U.S. Highway 40 Association in 1938. (Submitted on March 26, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Victory Highway. While the Lincoln Highway is certainly more celebrated, a few artifacts remain to remind us that the Victory Highway once passed through. This is especially true in Colorado and Utah where the Victory Highway was the first major through road in many areas. Every once and a while you will stumble across a street sign for Victory Street or an old sign for the Victory Motor Court. (Submitted on March 26, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
 
More. Search the internet for The Victory Highway.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 26, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 25, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 129 times since then. Photos:   1. submitted on March 25, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on March 26, 2019, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
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