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mobilene

Notes From Indiana's Dixie Highway

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I said I'd post as I updated my blog with stories from my October Indiana Dixie Highway trip, but I've been remiss. So here's everything I've written so far. I have two or three more stories to tell, so watch this space - I'll add links to those as they appear on my blog.

 

Introduction: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/10/22/driving-the-dixie-highway-in-southern-indiana/

A 1925 bridge and some concrete pavement from no later than that year: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/10/26/old-road-archaeology/

Beautiful fall color on a winding old alignment: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/10/31/the-winding-road-to-bloomington/

Scenes from Bloomington: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/11/07/the-courthouse-in-bloomington/

Abandoned section near Oolitic: http://blog.jimgrey.net/2012/11/12/abandoned-dixie-highway-at-oolitic/

 

-Jim

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I really enjoy reading your blog posts Jim. I spend time on some segment or another of the Dixie Highway (Carolina alignment) between Knoxville, TN and Greenville, SC at every opportunity. Trying to find the original routing between these points has been challenging to say the least, but every new discovery is worth the effort.

 

Mike

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I also love reading your blog. Your posts about the concrete spurred my memory.a bit. Back in Maine where I used to live near Route 1 the simply paved over the old concrete road. I remember a friend of mine who worked for the water company telling me they hated to have to dig up the old concrete roadbed. Everything went fine thru the asphalt; when they got to the concrete he told me it was like trying to hammer thru solid granite. They made them old roads to last back in the day.

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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Thanks guys. Isn't the sleuthing, trying to find where the road used to go, just the most fun part of all this?

 

Alex, you'd better believe they buried the original concrete under asphalt on the old DH in southern IN. Check this photo I took a few years ago along an abandoned section. A bridge was removed, revealing this 1925 concrete covered in three layers of asphalt:

 

 

4074289158_d61f238387_z.jpg

Abandoned SR 37 by mobilene, on Flickr

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Sometimes the sleuthing just makes you crazy, but it's still the best part of it. I spent part of this past weekend, again, trying to figure out a short section of the original Dixie Highway just north of Asheville, NC. I know the approximate route, but all of my Clason atlases, ABBs, etc. are still not definitive enough to convince me that I am in the correct location. Someday...

 

Mike

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I also enjoy Jim's blog.

 

That is some chunk of concrete!

 

It might be that the USGS legacy map collection will help. You guys already know of it, but others who read this may not. The collection has the following maps that may be useful. While there is no 1916 map, by overlaying the 1901 and the 1936 on Google Earth, the old Dixie roadbed may become evident. Just a thought....

 

1936 Asheville

1901/1921 reprint Asheville

1936 Weaverville

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road

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I have learned that there are just times when you gather the best info you have and then let your gut take you the rest of the way. I did a little of that when laying out the route that we got approved to be the Historic Michigan Road Byway in Indiana -- there are a couple places where the road's original route just wasn't 100% explained by available resources, and so I made my best educated guess and off we went!

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Jim - I probably have 80-90% of the road in NC pretty accurately mapped via a number of sources, and I think I know most of the rest of it. There are just a couple of places - the Asheville to Weaverville route being one of them - that I keep flip-flopping like a politician. :)

 

Dave - Thanks for the tip on the USGS maps. I have actually used them in the past for genealogical purposes like plotting land deeds, but never for this purpose. I spent some time last night looking at the maps you identified, and they are helpful. The one thing I don't know how to do is overlay them on Google Earth or Google Maps. I have seen NC maps done that way and they are amazingly useful. I have wondered about doing that for a while so maybe the holiday weekend is as good a time as any for figuring it out.

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Mike,

 

I have used the overlay approach many times, and found it not only useful, but often “surprising” as I discover roads I didn't know existed. There is an old road near my house and an old early 1900's school house site and settlement no none around here knew existed that showed up on a 1916 USGS overlay.

 

I have to relearn the process every time when I use overlays, but basically mark at least two key matching spots on each map and then stretch or shrink the overlay to fit. It may help to crop the overlay to about the right size to start. You can adjust transparency of the overlay with a slider.

 

One other “tip.” If you have section or township lines on the overlay, there is a service called Earthpoint that costs a few pennies but is very helpful in providing section and township lines right on Google Earth. It makes matching vastly easier.

 

You probably know all that, given your interests.

 

Have fun, and a great Thanksgiving!

 

Dave

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