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Everything posted by thermactor

  1. Hello again, Just a quick little bit of info to share from Illinois... While out driving today in the middle of nowhere, my wife and I ended up on an interesting old road. On the map, I thought it was just a normal chipseal "grid road" like all the others. When we turned on to it, it was actually a single-slab concrete road! It was in great condiiton, and the slab was only 10-12' wide. It's labelled as N 1500 E road on the map. The only part that we drove was the 2-mile segment directly south of the pushpin on this map: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=40.631051,-87.843795&num=1&t=h&z=20 You can clearly see the slab on this street view image: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=40.631051,-87.843795&ll=40.631021,-87.844298&spn=0.006441,0.013937&sll=40.631035,-87.843793&layer=c&cbp=13,184.29,,0,9.34&cbll=40.631036,-87.843769&t=h&z=17&panoid=gyDNYZSDWvNDua4iae726A I just wanted to point it out to all of you road fans out there. I'm not positive it's pre-1920s, but it sure is made in the style of a road that would be. It would definitely be worth coming back to drive the whole thing... Wes
  2. I believe I have discovered the true original location of the sign! David Cole was kind enough to photocopy and send me the following excerpt from the Goodrich Guide Book for this area. He speculates that the sign was produced in late 1916 or early 1917, due to the manner of its construction. The book has symbols where each Guide Post was located, and the mileages for Dwight and Kankakee given on the sign, as well as the direction the arrow is pointing, align with mile 36.1 of Route 23: Looking at the map and tracing the turns and landmarks, we can see that 36.1 would have been located here: The sign would have faced north, posted at the intersection of what is now IL-17 and N 2300 E Rd. There would have been another piece (now missing) projecting from the center of the sign, pointing north with mileages to other towns on the route (maybe Streator and Ottawa). So, it turns out that my first guess as to its location was incorrect. It's pretty handy, though, that Goodrich put out a publication that accounted for the positions and configurations of their signs. I just thought I would share this updated information. Thanks to everyone for their info, input, and comments! Wes
  3. I was doing a little more looking on this topic, and discovered, on Google Books, the April 1922 issue of "Highway Engineer and Contractor." On page 61, it lists "Highway and Road Associations" and shows the following entry for the CKC&G: "Chicago, Kansas City and Gulf Highway - President, Robert N. Carson, Iowa City, Ia.; Secretary, Harry W. Graham, Chillicothe, Mo. - Chicago, Ill., to Galveston, Tex." Google Books shows an actual image of the page. It's also very interesting because it lists a large number of other named routes in the same manner. Just another piece of the puzzle. Wes
  4. Dave, Thanks for the compliments! I'm fairly optimistic that like you say, in time, I will be able to fix it's location. The article you posted is very interesting. It's the first time I've seen them referred to as "Road Markers." Perhaps that term predated "Guide Posts?" Congrats on finding a route guide! I definitely look forward to any information you might turn up regarding placement practices, routes near Dwight, or, of course, the post locations. Judging by the way the presumably older, procelain versions were constructed, I'm assuming that the two towns on the sign were to the left of where it was posted, with nothing of significance to the right. Does that seem reasonable? Incidentally, I read an article in the Traveler (LHA California Newsletter) that the mileage plates were painted black with aluminum paint in the divots that comprise the words. The photo was taken with some baby powder in the divots for contrast. I'm anxious to get the sign to my house and check for signs of the original paint. Here's a link to the Traveler issue: http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:CNqRc9Ny8nYJ:www.lincolnhighwayassoc.org/ca/traveler/2008-04/traveler-2008-04.pdf+goodrich+guideposts&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEEShxnjhtPl6_13CZfZyQQTCTspBJfOqQqcv69nF9omopM4jc-3GPURc1_tphkb4Vt-48bv6unUWesHk011liolJh6SDm_8UdcpPHrtGgV1E0h7_OXDAI7N-hfziphLJS--KFKqV5&sig=AHIEtbQsGFPrrVTKyMn1tRMPO-x2XpN4EQ Thanks very much for your assistance and discussion! Wes
  5. Hello Road Sleuths, I recently acquired an early road sign. It's a Goodrich Guide Post sign, showing mileages to Kankakee and Dwight, IL. From what I've read, it's the boiler plate version which was used from either 1916 or 1917 through 1920 when the Guide Post program was discontinued. I have a few questions that I was hoping some other members here could help me with. First, does anyone have any pictures of similar Guide Post signs, old or new? I would love to see them. Here is my sign: Given the nature of the sign, it doesn't seem like an impossible task to determine the exact location where it was once posted. Here is my first hypothesis: After some cursory research, I found a spot on the Pontiac Trail, just north of Dwight, that could fit the bill. Of course, there are many other possibilities. The PT's route, according to windycityroadwarrior.com, through Dwight was as follows: "88.2--End of Road; jog left and take first right across RR 89.0. 89.2--4 corners; turn left and take first right onto Prairie Street. 89.6--DWIGHT--RR straight ahead. Avoid RR crossing by turning right on Chippewa Street. 89.8--Washington Street, turn left and bear right just beyond along RR. Follow along tracks into ODELL 97.5" Route courtesy windycityroadwarrior.com -- 1914 ABB For clarity, I've shown the route here: Map courtesy classic.mapmyride.com The "Play" symbol is at "End of Road" in the ABB directions. I hypothesize that the sign could have been at the intersection of Scully Rd., a mile north of the play button ("end of road") shown above. That would put it 2 miles from Dwight. My 1925 ABB shows 30 miles from Dwight to Kankakee, so this point would be approx. 32 miles from Kankakee. This is only a guess - there are many other possibilities. This would pretty neat, of course, as the Pontiac Trail became Illinois SBI 4, and later US 66. So, the best way to determine the location for sure would be a Goodrich Guide Book or route card. They showed every Guide Post as a circled "G" figure on the map. I don't suppose anyone has one of these books for this area? Any assistance or input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! Wes
  6. Dave, Thanks very much for your research and insight - that helps a lot. I tend to agree with you that the term "Gulf" is rather generic, and I too am beginning to speculate in ways that agree with what you have surmised. I really appreciate the info I've gotten from you guys, and will continue to do research too. If I learn anything further, I'll be sure to update this thread and post it here. Likewise, if anyone happens across any other information, this would be a great place to post and "preserve" it. Thanks very much, Wes
  7. Though the elevation is not so impressive, the old Lake Bistineau Dam in NW Louisiana was a neat drive. That is, until they built a 100% character-free bridge next to it and removed most of the original road from the top of the dam. At least they left a portion over the spillway gates for fishing purposes. It was an extremely long wooden deck girder bridge carrying LA-154 across the dam. The bridge was elevated 10 or so feet above the top of the dam, and the brave and daring could take their boats underneath it, provided the water wasn't over the spillway - that would be suicide. http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=pcn9v...lvl=2&sty=b I also remember the Hungry Horse Reservoir dam in the Flathead Nat'l Forest as being quite impressive when I was a kid. At the time it was driveable - I assume it still is? http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&cp=48.34...vl=15&sty=h Happy Trails! Wes
  8. Thanks Dave! I'm sorry to take so long to respond - was on vacation and then got rather busy with work afterward. By chance, do you remember the name of the named trail from KC to Galveston? I assume that if the trail is not in the 1916 TIB but is in the 1920, it was organized between those dates. I'm definitely interested in anything that you come up with related to the route. Thanks much! Wes
  9. Thank you Parsa9 for the detailed route information from Chicago to KC. I only wish I had some of those Rand McNally maps - I'll have to put them on my want list... I had seen the sign at a gas/oil show, and regretted not buying it. I got lucky and found it again on ebay, and got it for the same price as it was when I passed it up at the gas show. Talk about a lucky break! I'd love to see any photos showing a sign like this in the background. Also, of course, pamphlets, brochures, and strip maps would be fantastic. Hopefully someone on the site can add to what was just posted with the continuation of the route from KC to Galveston. Thanks! Wes Oh - here's the sign:
  10. Hello, I recently bought a tin tacker sign for the Chicago Kansas City Gulf Highway. After a rather futile attempt at doing web research to find the route, I've decided to turn to you guys for some help. The basic route is apparent from Chicago to Kansas City, based on this info: http://www.museum.state.il.us/exhibits/ath...0/maps/n-il.jpg http://academic.marion.ohio-state.edu/schu...ional/ckcg.html But, that doesn't explain the "Gulf" part, does it? This does... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auto_trail Galveston, TX... Interesting... Nowhere so far except for this site mentions that it may have gone to Galveston. It would definitely make sense, though. Does anyone have any brochures, literature, or other printings from the CKCG? If anyone has any route info, pictures, or anything to share I would be very interested. I'd also like to know what dates the route existed / was maintained between. I've seen references to the year 1918, but I'd like to find a range. Thanks! Wes
  11. On another forum I visit, someone posted this Valentine diner for sale. It's incredibly neat, and very small and portable-looking. I have no connection to the seller or anything - just passing it along. http://www.oldgas.com/forum/ubbthreads.php...amp;#Post129264 Wes
  12. Hello Friends, I was out looking at old iron bridges last weekend, and ran across not one but two separate locations in the area East of Decatur that had road names involving "Star Route." First, coming right out of Decatur and paralleling the Sangamon River is "Star Rte Rd." (incidentally right next to "Stare Rd." http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&...131149&z=13 Then, down on 121 near Bethany (ESE of Decatur) I saw (and couldn't resist turning on) a road called "Blue Star Route." It merely went east, then south and ran back into 121. But, a short distance later, another road with the same name turned off to the north or east. The roads on the map are not labeled, but I think the one I drove was the eastbound continuation of Main St., all the way east to the T, then south to 121. The next "Blue Star Route" road was likely the road that turns north in Dunn, or the next one SE of Dunn. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&...131149&z=13 Has anyone seen or heard anything about a "Blue Star Route?" Does anyone know if the Blue Star Route and the Star Route are related? Just sheer curiousity... Thanks, Wes
  13. I just wanted to say that my wife and I had a great experience at Breities Again, which was featured in American Road magazine this fall. The article didn't lie, that's for sure. We took a day trip on the National Road, planning to culminate our day of antiqueing and exploring with a meal at Breities Again. The atmosphere was very cozy, the decor was really neat, and the food and service were excellent. Everything on the menu looked so good that I had to stuff myself to try a few different things. Crab bisque soup, fried green tomatoes, and fried walleye all caught my eye, so I was pretty much ill and bloated by the time we left -- but in a good way! It's only a couple miles from the interstate in Greenville, IL, so whether you're just passing through on I-70, or you're out for a cruise on old 40, it's well worth stopping. Thanks very much to John Goldsmith for publicizing this great little diner! Take care, Wes
  14. Did you know you could drive through a covered bridge on the old National Road in Illinois? While out driving the National Road from Greenup to Greenville on Friday, my wife and I saw a sight to behold. On the old alignment coming out of Greenup to the west, we came upon an operational covered bridge! Concrete curbs constricted the road down to one lane, and across the bridge we rumbled. I noticed that the bridge was in excellent shape, and there was a parking lot and kiosk to the west of it. We pulled off and read the signage -- this bridge was built 8 years ago! Pretty incredible that the people of Cumberland County care enough about their history and the National Road to build something like this in this day and age. The timbers are quite impressive, and the construction style is correct for a 100+ year-old covered bridge. The arch timbers are huge - I can't help but wonder where they got them. The bridge sits on the old alignment of 40, left very lightly travelled by the new 40 bypass to the south. This covered bridge replaced a 1920 concrete bridge (which, in a way, is a shame too...). The signs in the kiosk have a ton of pictures detailing the contruction of the bridge, as well as the poor condition of the old concrete bridge. There are sidewalks in the bridge, too, so feel free to walk through and look out the windows! A hiking trailhead begins at the kiosk and observation deck area - I'll have to come back and check that out in nicer weather. On another note... We ate dinner at Breite's Again in Greenville, taking advice from Diner Days in the magazine. Let me tell you - it was worth the trip entirely! The place is really neat, and the food is top notch and very reasonable. We loved the fried green tomatoes! Wes
  15. Wow! Yep, you got it! Right down here below the observation platform in the shaky little town of New Madrid, MO. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&...mp;t=h&z=18 Good job!! Wes
  16. I know this is old stuff - predating cars -- but I figured I'd ask... Has anyone ever heard about a Shed Road in Bossier City, LA from 1860 to 1875? I remember learning about it in middle and high school. Here's a historical marker that sums it up: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM1ZA2 It ran from the Red River to Red Chute Bayou. The significance/reason is that Red Chute Bayou marks the edge of the flood plain of the Red River. This nine mile stretch would have been (and still is) red sand. It would have included a fair amount of quicksand at the time, too. Heavy rains, which happen often around there, would make the road a soupy mess if it were not made of planks and covered. The reason it didn't need to exist on the west side of the river, is that in this particular area, the bluff that marked the edge of the floodplain was directly adjacent to the river.Basically, this may have been a predecessor to Hwy 80, and was once either adjacent to or part of the trail into the Spanish Territory by way of Shreveport. http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&...mp;t=h&z=13 It would be interesting to put together the actual route of the shed-covered road. I'll do some more research at some point, but does anyone already have more information? Wes
  17. Wow - I never thought my Eagle would get so much press here... Thanks for the kind words! I've always liked it. It needs some work (some gaskets leak, and it needs waxing, and a few other mechanical things) but it has no rust whatsoever. It does handle well - believe it or not, you can even make it do a fishtail 90 degree turn with the back tire(s) spinning. That only happened once, to get out of a sticky situation, but I was impressed... The little straight 6 4.2L has a lot of torque. Oh - for bonus points.. Can anyone identify the body of water in the background of the Eagle pic? Wes
  18. My wife and I run the roads on weekends in our 2008 Pontiac G6. So far it's been a really good car - no complaints here at all! When it's just me, I'll sometimes take the Eagle... Wes
  19. Wow! I wonder if any of those buildings are still there? I can see how they'd tear down the bridge, but who knows if they would have spared the buildings... I guess you could look at topo maps to see how deep it would be there... Might make for an interesting boating trip with a fishfinder? Wes
  20. Jim, An SR 46 trip would be a nice drive indeed - I love that road. If you take it, keep in mind that you should check out the old Chevrolet dealer in Lockport (now Riley). Also, the Wabash and Erie Canal crosses 46 twice, and there are still intact lock walls north of Riley. By the way, in Riley, you'll see an old DX service station next to a liquor store. I used to live in the house behind that liquor store, not 100 feet from 46. There's also a truss bridge somewhere between Spencer and 59/46 crossroads, and pilings from a rail bridge (The Terre Haute and Worthington Line, I believe) in the creek south of the crossing by Bowling Green. Oh yeah - I know you like steel bridges. On the National Road somewhere south and slightly east of Greencastle, a small farm road intersects. If you go north on this road, you can still cross a very small and very old steel truss bridge. Just the kind I'd like to have in my backyard... Wes
  21. Very neat! I too have driven that stretch many a time, and have never noticed that alignment and fork. SR42 is a fun drive to between Terre Haute and Brazil, and the old mining roads turning off of it always intrigued me. Have you ever driven the entirety of Bloomington Rd.? It passes through the post-apocalyptic wasteland that was once the AMAX coal mine. When you cross Light Rd., be sure to jaunt south on it to see the old cemetery that is now a wooded island on the barren plains. I also wonder if Bloomington Rd. once turned East at Ashboro and was once Ashboro Rd.? Looking at the map, it makes sense. SR 46 begins a straight-west alignment right where the two meet. Does your 20s map show anything about this? Thanks, Wes
  22. Thanks for the very interesting shots! I've always been intrigued by stories of lakes being built over roads and even towns -- brings to mind the end of Deliverance... I remember my dad telling me a story of a high school friend who met his end due to this exact phenomenon. Sometime in the mid 1970s, speeding down the road at probably 120-150mph in a new Datsun 280Z, he came across Toledo Bend, a huge reservoir that had recently been built on the LA/TX line. Apparently water is like a concrete wall at that speed. From what I understand, entire towns were submerged for this reservoir -- it would be quite interesting to dive there... Wes
  23. That video was amazing - Pretty neat that the videographer was in the right place at the right time. The picture from Terre Haute is pretty neat too. I wonder where on Woodsmall rd. that is? Woodsmall crosses the old Wabash and Erie canal - could this be the spot? There are also several other creek culverts on the road. I used to live in Riley, and took Woodsmall to get to the mall in Terre Haute. I even recall sliding sideways on ice at 35mph down Woodsmall with a friend driving - somehow he managed to get it back on the road and straightened out without hitting any signposts... Wes
  24. Dave, Great pictures! I'd love to see more of them. The station is a Frontier -- a Colorado-based company. This is evidenced by the distinctive shape of the sign frame visible in your video. The mystery pit probably is a greasing pit. In the days of cars with tires like the one you pictured, greasing was done outside on racks -- typically at least. These racks were just 2 or 3 feet tall. In this case, it looks like a concrete platform was used, where the attendant would go under the car on the open, elevated end (by the tree). That's my guess, at least. Do you have a link to additional pictures? Wes
  25. Guys, Thanks very much for the great info! Those strip maps are fantastic! What really peaked my interest was the description of the markers being cannon balls on poles. I suppose they meant pictoral representations of cannon balls on telephone poles. I was imagining a sort of mini-76 ball made of iron... The most convenient part of the route is around 3 hrs from my house. It is something I wouldn't mind hitting the road for, but that will have to happen at a later date. I'm pretty incapable of doing it right now -- I'm in the middle of buying a house, and just bought a new car. So, it will take some time to recover, if you know what i mean. I'm going to do some exploring closer to home for now -- I'd like to trace and drive the apparently multiple routes of the PPOO through Decatur. I believe one alignment is 0.5 mi from my new house, another is about 2.5, and another is just a few more than that. I even found some original exposed pavement of what is most certainly the PPOO / US-36 -- now on private property. But, I digress... Thanks again for the info - I'll save the strip maps and will try to make it a project for the future. Wes
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