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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!


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Everything posted by mobilene

  1. This summer on my spare Saturdays I've been exploring US 50 across Indiana. I most enjoyed visiting Aurora for its great downtown, an almost forgotten old alignment of the road in south-central Indiana, and another almost forgotten old alignment between Vincennes and Washington.
  2. My first drive was in my dad's 1978 Chevy van. Manual steering, manual brakes. I drove it around a parking lot. Not very exciting!
  3. Hi Cort, and welcome to the American Road forum! Looks like you'll fit in fine here. jim
  4. What a find! It must have been trippy to use them. jim
  5. Holy cow, best laugh I've had in a month!
  6. What a photo! 8K RAM and 1 MB hard drive was a screaming machine at the time! For what it's worth, I learned to program in assembly language on a DEC PDP 11/70.
  7. I am finding that US 50 in southwestern Indiana has quite a colorful history in terms of realignments. Apparently, I-64 was originally slated to follow US 50 through here and into Illinois -- so much so that the current four-lane alignment between Washington and Vincennes was built in anticipation. That alignment bypasses every town along the way like a good Interstate should. But lobbying got I-64 built along the "US 460" (now SR 62) corridor across southern Indiana instead. I've already shown you photos from old US 50 as bypassed by the I-64 that never was. But I have learned that there is an even older alignment of US 50 between Washington and Vincennes. One of my favorite Indiana map resources is available at the Web site of the Indiana University libraries. It has official state highway maps from 1917, 1923, 1924, and 1927 through 1931. Those maps show not only the original alignment, but how it was slowly realigned to the second alignment between 1929 and 1931. What's even more cool is that after I posted photos from the original alignment to my Flickr space, a fellow who follows me chimed in to say he grew up in Vincennes and remembers the four-lane going in, and that his father remembers the 1931 alignment going in -- and vouched for my educated guess at the original alignment. This image shows all three alignments. I've traced the oldest in blue. The next alignment and the current alignment overlap in places; where they are different, look for roads marked Old US 50. (Click the image to see it full size.) I followed this alignment west to east. Here's Old Wheatland Road, near where this alignment begins on the east side of Vincennes. Old Wheatland Road by mobilene, on Flickr As you can see, Old Wheatland Road rises and falls with the terrain. Old Wheatland Road by mobilene, on Flickr It merges into SR 550 for a short bit just before it reaches Wheatland. Clearly, this section of 550 was built on Old Wheatland Road. SR 550 by mobilene, on Flickr The real gem on this alignment is this 1909 bridge. It's a three-spanner carrying one lane traffic. It was apparently renovated a few years ago. Washington Road Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr The bridge builder's plates still adorn the bridge at either end. Washington Road Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr The bridge originally had a wooden deck, but it was replaced by this steel deck in the renovation. Washington Road Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr The rest of the old alignment wasn't very remarkable -- just a series of country roads with more jogs and zigzags than we put up with in our highways today. Peace, jim
  8. Debby Knox worked at WSJV in South Bend/Elkhart when I was growing up. I was kind of surprised to see her on TV here in Indy when I moved here! I've heard nada, zip, zilch about changing MR's name to MLK. I'm for the idea of having an MLK-named road somewhere outside the ghetto, but obviously not at the cost of losing the MR name.
  9. Hey, at least the reporter used "historical" right -- I kept using "historic" when "historical" was the better choice in that context.
  10. Cool! I thought I noticed your 3-D cam. I also made TV news yesterday about the Michigan Road. Check it out: http://www.wishtv.com/dpp/news/local/marion_county/new-gas-station-threatens-historic-log-cabin
  11. Old US 50 makes its way into Vincennes on Washington St., and then jogs over slightly to 6th St. and then to downtown. A number of great older homes line 6th St., though not all of them are in this nice of shape. Old house by mobilene, on Flickr Originally, 50 hooked a right onto Main St., which is quite lovely. Here it is from its westernmost end, by the Wabash River. Vincennes by mobilene, on Flickr 50's next alignment was one block south, on Vigo St., where the lovely Lincoln Memorial Bridge still stands. It's so named because this is about the spot where young Lincoln crossed into Illinois with his family. Lincoln Memorial Bridge by mobilene, on Flickr But before this bridge, there was a combination bowstring arch truss and covered bridge at Main St. About a half block of brick road remains, leading up to the place where the old bridge approach would have been. Today, a concrete road begins there and curves northward along the river. (You may recall from my Illinois US 50 trip last year that the old road on the Illinois side is brick, too, but is somebody's driveway today!) The old brick road by mobilene, on Flickr Main St. in Vincennes is a must see if you're into historic preservation. Lots of buildings dating to the mid-late 1800s, and many of them have been restored or at least reasonably cared for. This is the Second National Bank building. Second National Bank by mobilene, on Flickr This is the Pantheon Theater building, which needs a little love but has a group soliciting funds to help restore it. Pantheon Theater by mobilene, on Flickr This storefront caught my eye because of all the glorious Vitrolite. It isn't original to the building, though. Glorious Vitrolite by mobilene, on Flickr Next time: Old old US 50 between Vincennes and Washington (to the east) and a 1909 three-span iron bridge.
  12. Watch out for jealous husbands - check! Happy birthday, Alex!
  13. Well, that's GM for you, always doing things halffast!
  14. I think the road shots from my most recent post are of roads built in the late 20s, so hey, you're not so far off! Yep, our esteemed forum mods live in Speedway. I live four miles north of Speedway; you'd think I'd've met up with our fearless leaders for a short trip or at least a burger by now! Pat's reached out a couple times, but our schedules nevery sync. Somehow my life stays too busy. jim
  15. Unfortunately, mine came in a to-go cup. But that didn't diminish its excellence. And the fact that a sweet young lady with a bright smile came out to greet me and take my order (as I photographed the sign) made it all the better!
  16. More, more, I'm still not satisfied! A dead-end bit of old 50 west of Wheatland, IN. Old US 50 by mobilene, on Flickr Where modern four-lane 50 begins to veer to bypass Vincennes, old 50 forks away. Dig that crazy single center stripe. I saw a lot of that on Knox County roads. Old US 50 by mobilene, on Flickr As old 50 winds its way into Vincennes proper, this ancient US 50 shield still stands watch. Business US 50 shield by mobilene, on Flickr
  17. Loogootee is a culture shock for anyone, even now! :-)
  18. Map placement. I'm still too cheap to buy a GPS unit. But notice that little road just south of the marker. There's a little pulloff immediately north of that road, barely one Matrix/Vibe wide, but it's good enough. Look for a narrow trail down to the rock.
  19. Denny, click through on that photo of Jug Rock -- I've geotagged the photo so the Flickr map shows exactly where it is.
  20. Dave, do a Google image search on 1960 Buick Invicta hardtop -- lots of pics of two-doors!
  21. Time for more! Old US 50 south of Loogootee. It's weird. It used to come into Loogootee from the south on what is now SR 550, then almost immediately turn around and head back south down what is now US 231 to what is now CR 100. This is CR 100. It hasn't been 50 in a looooooong time. Old US 50 by mobilene, on Flickr US 50 bypasses the town of Washington today, but a great root beer stand is on the old alignment in town. Mason's Root Beer by mobilene, on Flickr My root beer float was delicious! Mason's Root Beer by mobilene, on Flickr Strangely, old 50 doesn't go through downtown Washington. Rather, it cuts through the south side of town. My old State Highway Maps say that the previous alignment, old old 50, did sort of reach downtown. I got photos of it on my way back through later in the day. West of Washington, old 50 used to cross a river with a nice three-span steel truss bridge, but it was torn out in 1990. (http://bridgehunter.com/in/daviess/018310/). Here's where the road dead ends. Old US 50 by mobilene, on Flickr Old US 50 by mobilene, on Flickr
  22. I finished my drive along US 50 in Indiana on Saturday. I favored the old alignments, of which there are many between Shoals and the Illinois line. My ABBs are downright maddening between these two points -- I can hardly make heads or tails of their directions. My 1910s and 1920s Indiana highway maps, despite their statewide scale, were actually more helpful. I believe that US 50's original alignment through Shoals was actually perpendicular to its current alignment! First, a couple scenes from current 50, both just west of Shoals. The view from Overlook Park: Scenes from US 50 by mobilene, on Flickr And Jug Rock, a rock formation just off the highway but hidden by brush. You have to know it's there. Jug Rock by mobilene, on Flickr In Shoals, I stood on the corner of US 50 and Main (old 50). This is old 50 coming in from the north, er, east. Shoals, Indiana by mobilene, on Flickr And here's old 50 going out to the south, er, west. Shoals, Indiana by mobilene, on Flickr I headed south on Main St./old 50. My old maps suggest that old 50 followed Main St., to where it merges into Spout Springs Rd., and then followed Spout Springs to where it Ts into State Road 550. Then it's west on 550 to the next town, Loogootee (pronounced like "low goadee"). There's a great rock formation on Spout Springs Rd. Rock formation on Spout Springs Road by mobilene, on Flickr Here's the westbound view on 550: State Road 550 by mobilene, on Flickr More to come. jim
  23. It cracks me up that the old bridge is used as a parking lot! Better than nothing, I guess.
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