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

Star Route / Blue Star Route In Illinois?

Recommended Posts

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

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

 

Wes,

 

This is a bit of a shot in the dark, and a bit of research would probably invalidate it, but two things come to mind.

 

I vaguely recall brown metal signs with a star at the top labeled a “Blue Star Route.” I think they were in memory of WWI, but that is really stretching my memory. And of course the post office had rural “star routes.”

 

Maybe one or the other is related to your discoveries……but don’t bank on it! B)

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Dave

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think Dave has directed you to the probable answer(s). -- Of course, local roads may have names for reasons known only locally. But as I refer to older plat maps I ofter find the mail routes specified and over time those route names can become the official road name. Star routes are common and are defined as: "Star route - a mail route, usually rural, served by a private contractor. The routes pre-dated RFD (Rural Free Delivery). The postmaster general was allowed by Congress to form contracts with private delivery services without specifying the mode used for the deliveries. To identify these routes, an asterisk was placed on the Post Office Department records. Consequently, they became known as 'star routes'. "

 

I was not aware of Blue Star Routes but I found two good good references: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Star_Memorial_Highway and especially http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/infrastructure/blue01.htm

 

J Ridge

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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

 

 

I have a photo of a Blue Star Memorial Highway marker from the outskirts of Carthage, MO that says, "A tribute to the Armed Forces that have defended the United States of America. Sponsored by Federated Garden Clubs of Missouri in cooperation with Missouri State Highway Department and Carthage Floral Study Club and Mimosa Garden Club." There is no date on the monument.

 

There is another such marker at the intersection of old 66 just east of Cuba, MO and County P which goes to Leasburg. It has similar markings and it's my understanding these monuments were erected by various clubs that may or may not have been garden/floral related working with the highway department in honor of WWI and WWII forces.

 

I seem to recall that we cruised a Blue Star Highway in MI that runs north-south alongside Lake Michigan a few years ago. If so, it appears these monuments were erected throughout the midwest and possibly other areas as well....Bliss

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I seem to recall that we cruised a Blue Star Highway in MI that runs north-south alongside Lake Michigan a few years ago. If so, it appears these monuments were erected throughout the midwest and possibly other areas as well....Bliss
I know I've seen a few and believe one is in an I-70 rest area near the OH & IN line. The links John provided identify the first (US-22 in NJ) and a few others (US-50 in MD & US-31 in MI) but I found no complete listing. You can buy the markers through the National Garden Club so I hope they're keeping track of things.

 

The postmaster general was allowed by Congress to form contracts with private delivery services without specifying the mode used for the deliveries. To identify these routes, an asterisk was placed on the Post Office Department records. Consequently, they became known as 'star routes'. "
Good info. I recall hearing the phrase "star route" many years ago but I think I just assumed that it was another name for RFD.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

250px-Blue_Star_Memorial_Highway_Marker.jpg magnify-clip.png

 

Blue Star Memorial Highway marker on Interstate 81 northbound near New Market, Virginia

The Blue Star Memorial Highways are memorial highways in the United States that pay tribute to the U.S. armed forces. The National Council of State Garden Clubs, now known as National Garden Clubs, Inc., started the program in 1945 after World War II. The blue star was used on flags and outside servicemen's homes during the war. The program has since been expanded to include Memorial Markers and Memorial By-Ways. These markers are used in National Cemeteries, parks, veterans facilities, and gardens.

 

As an aside, during WWII homes that had men, and women, in the armed forces displayed a blue star flag in their windows. In the event of a death of a serviceman or woman a gold star flag would be displayed. You may have heard of "gold star mothers" who are (or have been) traditionally honored in Memorial Day parades by riding in a convertible in the parade. Given the time that has passed there are probably very few gold star mothers surviving.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

Edited by Alex Burr - hester_nec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×