At an elevation of 8,640 feet above sea level, Interstate 80 climbs to its highest point in
Wyoming. Stop at the 35-acre Summit Rest Area and Visitor Center between Cheyenne and
Laramie (Exit 323), and you will encounter a very engaging feature: one of the only
memorials to Abraham Lincoln along the entire length of the Lincoln Highway, the nation’s
first transcontinental artery. It is a 13 ½-foot-tall bronze bust of America’s 16th
president – the largest bronze head sculpture in the United States – resting on top of a
35-foot-tall hand-cut granite base.
The 4,500-pound bust was created by one of Wyoming’s best-known sculptors, Robert I. Russin. Construction on the Lincoln Highway began in 1912.
The highway ran alongside the first transcontinental railroad route and was later
designated U.S. Highway 30. The sculpture itself, commissioned in 1959 to commemorate the
150th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, was moved to its present site from its original
location on the Lincoln Highway when I-80 was completed.