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BabyBoomerBob

Cruisin' The "phantom Highway", Part 3

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Note: The road from Griderville to Bardstown was traveled twice. Once, north to south, with the good folks of the "Bourbon and Coke" Cruise, the other, south to north the following day. The writeup continues the south to north orientation of the previous posts. Photos are at http://community.webshots.com/user/babyboomerbob

 

Our cruise of the proposed US 37 which was never approved, resumed at Glasgow, KY where we headed north on US 31E. At Griderville we stopped to photo the remains of the Windmill Restaurant. A good friend of mine recommended this place and was saddened when I told him it was closed <Windmill Restaurant>.

 

During the cruise we had stopped at a minimart with this cool looking painting on the wall <Site of the original...> I didn't realize until I read Denny's post that it was the site of the Wigwam Village Motel #1. Duh!:(

 

While on the cruise we had stopped at Lincoln's birthplace, but the park was already closed. Susan and I got there the next day. The monumental edifice surrounding the cabin was impressive and I got a couple of good shots <Lincoln's Birthplace...>, but I couldn't get a picture of the cabin itself. No flash photos were allowed:( I wound up talking to a ranger about the economic roots of the Civil War. Then he started going on about how America was going down the tubes, and I decided it was time for the road again.

 

Hodgenville is the closest town to Lincoln's birthday and is in the middle of major renovation in preparation for Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009. You'll find Lincoln's name all over town <Sign at restaurant...& Street flag...>

and a statue in the middle of town <Statue of Lincoln.> I might try to get up there again in a couple of years to see how their improvements have gone.

 

When Abe Lincoln was a small boy, his family moved to a farm on Knob Creek. This site has become a monument as well, and we all stopped off to take pictures. <Knob Creek Farm 01-03>. We milled around, taking pictures of the cabins, and each other, and each other taking pictures of the cabins:)

 

One thing that was mentioned at the post cruise get together was a rather bizarre sign inviting tourists to "Enjoy Kentucky" but with a strange caveat:) <Whaaaaa...?> Somehow, I was lucky enough to find that sign and get a picture the next day:)

 

And now for Bardstown. Ah, what can I say except that Susan and I fell in love with it:) Denny had the foresight to call ahead for reservations so we could eat at the Talbott Tavern, an old inn dating back to 1779. Nothing like enjoying a good meal of Kentucky hot brown with friends! <Talbot Tavern 01-03> Then we wandered around the courthouse square, taking pictures and having a good time. <Nelson County Courthouse - Tour Carriage>

 

We followed our convoy of friends out to the Bourbon Heritage Center. <Bourbon Heritage Center> Not many photos here. Flash photos were forbidden in the warehouse because of the flammable alcohol fumes and the outsides of the warehouses were rather prosaic looking, so I held off.

 

On our way out of Bardstown, Susan and I stopped to take a picture of a caboose advertising a local dinner train tour <My Old Kentucky Dinner Train>, then bopped up 31E bound for Louisville.

 

Quite honestly, we don't stop for ad barns like we used to. We both love Rock City and Mail Pouch barns. but we've seen a bunch of them:) It was refreshing to see a barn advertising something else:) <Ghost Sign Barn>

 

On to Louisville! the Jackson Highway approaches Louisville through a rather hip looking neighborhood, likely frequented by college students <Louisville 01>, but the traffic was so heavy (even on a Sunday morning) that we couldn't stop for any pictures:( But soon we were downtown and the traffic was *much* less <Louisville 02-04>. Just before we started across the Ohio River <Across the Ohio>, US 31 E & W merged. But it wasn't always here. It used to be in Indiana and that's where US 37 was supposed to terminate.

 

We were forced onto I-65 for a bit, but exited soon. Too soon as a mater of fact:) Now I won't say we were lost, but as Danial Boone would have said, I was bewildered:) I had seem the Colgate Palmolive clock from the bridge and decided to go hunt for it:)

Luck (and good eyesight) was with me and I found it pretty handily. < Former Colgate... - Plant and clock> I can see how it was a local icon and I'm glad it's being preserved.

 

Now for the last bit. There is a road that runs right by the interstate, but it dead ends:( But off to the right is an overpass that once had *something* running under it. Could this be how the old road once ran? <Road Mystery> Note: Delorme indicates the road passed under the interstate here.

 

We had to backtrack and approach the apparent end of the Phantom Highway from another angle. We drove a bit down the old road, then I got a photo looking north toward the intersection where 31 E & W used to meet <End of the line!>. Er, at least I believe I found it:) Delorme indicates the intersection of US 31E and McCullough Pike which is presently IN SR 131. That's good enough for me until someone tells me otherwise:)

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Great account of this fun day. You didn't mention the near catastrophe with the beagle. All I can say is that Denny's Vette has great brakes.

 

I'm up for a Hot Brown again. When gas prices come down, I plan to take another drive through this area and hit some more bourbon places. I couldn't believe the $45 and $56 prices for a fifth of bourbon at Heaven Hill. A bit too much for me. Hell, I can't even hardly afford gas anymore.

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Great account of this fun day. You didn't mention the near catastrophe with the beagle. All I can say is that Denny's Vette has great brakes.

 

I'm up for a Hot Brown again. When gas prices come down, I plan to take another drive through this area and hit some more bourbon places. I couldn't believe the $45 and $56 prices for a fifth of bourbon at Heaven Hill. A bit too much for me. Hell, I can't even hardly afford gas anymore.

 

 

The reason I didn't mention the beagle was it wasn't on the "Phantom Highway":) I'm not through with my writeups yet. I still have the Dixie Highway to cover:)

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I'm sure glad you got a picture of that "We don't rent pigs" sign so people will know we wern't imagining things. At least not that time. Another good trip report.

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On to Louisville! the Jackson Highway approaches Louisville through a rather hip looking neighborhood, likely frequented by college students <Louisville 01>, but the traffic was so heavy (even on a Sunday morning) that we couldn't stop for any pictures:( But soon we were downtown and the traffic was *much* less <Louisville 02-04>. Just before we started across the Ohio River <Across the Ohio>, US 31 E & W merged. But it wasn't always here. It used to be in Indiana and that's where US 37 was supposed to terminate.

 

We were forced onto I-65 for a bit, but exited soon. Too soon as a mater of fact:) Now I won't say we were lost, but as Danial Boone would have said, I was bewildered:) I had seem the Colgate Palmolive clock from the bridge and decided to go hunt for it:)

Luck (and good eyesight) was with me and I found it pretty handily. < Former Colgate... - Plant and clock> I can see how it was a local icon and I'm glad it's being preserved.

 

Now for the last bit. There is a road that runs right by the interstate, but it dead ends:( But off to the right is an overpass that once had *something* running under it. Could this be how the old road once ran? <Road Mystery> Note: Delorme indicates the road passed under the interstate here.

 

We had to backtrack and approach the apparent end of the Phantom Highway from another angle. We drove a bit down the old road, then I got a photo looking north toward the intersection where 31 E & W used to meet <End of the line!>. Er, at least I believe I found it:) Delorme indicates the intersection of US 31E and McCullough Pike which is presently IN SR 131. That's good enough for me until someone tells me otherwise:)

 

 

 

I'll give a shot at clearing some things up.

 

Delorme is wrong in a couple of places.

 

State Road 131 no longer exists. It was turned over to the town of Clarksville, and is now known as Lewis and Clark Parkway. It runs east/west from I-65 to the western edge of Clarksville, where it intersects with Browns Station Way.

 

Once upon a time US 31 split at Sellersburg, Indiana (9 miles north of the Ohio River) and 31-E ran south from Sellersburg, parallel to the railroad tracks, to Clarksville, and continued south on a route that is now covered by I-65. Two access roads on either side of I-65 are named Old Highway 31. I am not certain what path 31-E followed from Eastern Boulevard to the Ohio. I'll look that up and post it later.

 

As it is now, US 31 and I-65 run the same route from Eastern Boulevard for a couple of miles, then US 31 splits off again and crosses the George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge into Louisville. I'm not sure of the exact route, but it does head out to Bardstown Road, and points south.

 

Back up in Sellersburg... US 31-W used to follow Indiana State Road 311 south into New Albany. In Floyd County SR 311 is also know as Charlestown Road. When US 31 was abandoned as a federal highway Indiana renamed it SR 331. It stayed that way for a few months, then was renamed SR 311. I think it may just have been a typo or a sign-maker's mistake that made it 331 instead of the current 311.

 

Once SR 311 (old US 31-W) got into New Albany, it followed Charlestown Road to Vincennes Street, the south on Vincennes Street to the K&I Railroad bridge, and across it into the western end of Louisville. From there it went on down to Dixie Highway, then followed (and still does) Dixie Highway to points south - I've not explored that farther.

 

The K&I Railroad bridge had lanes on each side of it for automobile/light truck traffic. For a time it was a toll bridge. It was closed to car/truck traffic when some fool tried to take his dump truck across it, and the railroad elected to shut it down.

 

US 31-W northbound heads on up toward the Ohio River, then follows Main and Market Streets (They're both one-way) to the east, where 31-W joins with 31-E and becomes whole again - US 31.

 

Just now, looking at google maps, it appears that the Kentuckians did everything possible to keep US 31-E & US 31-W from joining, and they for-sure didn't want to rename one or the other.

 

An interesting bit I found on wikipedia:

 

The American Association of State Highway Officials (AASHO) adopted a resolution against split routes in 1934. In order to eliminate the US 31E/US 31W split, it commissioned a new U.S. Route 37, replacing US 31E from the Louisville area south to Glasgow, and then following Kentucky Route 63 and several routes in Tennessee to Chattanooga. The rest of US 31E, from Glasgow to Nashville, was assigned U.S. Route 143; this proposed route was extended southwest to Centerville in 1938 and Jackson in 1944 via State Route 100 and State Route 20. US 31W would have become the main route of US 31. Kentucky and Tennessee refused to accept the renumbering, and never changed signs, leading AASHO to re-recognize the split in 1952.

 

 

 

That place in the picture where the road to nowhere is? That is an old railroad right of way. It goes west into New Albany, and northeast towards Charlestown. It was easier for Indiana, the federal government, and the railroad to just build a bridge over it than to go thru all the hoopla and red tape to get the ROW abandoned. In a rare show of intelligence, all involved decided to just skip over the problem.

Edited by chuckcZRXOA

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From your Webshots page:

 

Looking north on what used to be US 31E and what would have been US 37 had it been approved. The intersection marks the spot where 31E and 31 W once met. This would have been the northern end of the "Phantom". Well, as nearly as I can make out, anyway:)

 

 

 

The street the white car is parked on is Industrial Parkway. It is relatively new, and was never a part of US 31.

 

US 31 is on the west side of the railroad tracks. If you look closely you can see a car or two on US 31 (the old 31-E / phantom US 37) in front of the fireworks store (yellow and red sign).

 

The non-railroad is behind the photographer.

 

The road just in front of where you are standing is called New Albany-Charlestown Pike. It was once a toll road owned and operated by someone name McCulloch, which is where you got your McCulloch Pike. McCulloch Pike ran from the eastern end of New Albany's Main street east toward Charlestown, along what is now Lewis and Clark Parkway - once known as Indiana State Road 131.

 

Note that SR 131 did not follow the usual numbering system for state roads - it was named after a US highway.

 

The northern end of your phantom highway would have been 5 miles north, in Sellersburg, where US 31-E (now simply US 31) and US 31-W (now SR 311) intersect, continuing northward as US 31 to Indianapolis.

Edited by chuckcZRXOA

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"Kentucky and Tennessee refused to accept the renumbering, and never changed signs, leading AASHO to re-recognize the split in 1952."

Yep, those hill folk sure can be obstinate and they do seem rather fond of split routes (31, 25, 41, 62, etc.). I've noted before that Tennessee might lead the nation in split US highways but Kentucky has its share, too. I didn't know that they actually battled AASHO over them.

 

Thanks for the info and welcome to the forum.

 

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I'll give a shot at clearing some things up.

 

Delorme is wrong in a couple of places.

 

State Road 131 no longer exists. It was turned over to the town of Clarksville, and is now known as Lewis and Clark Parkway. It runs east/west from I-65 to the western edge of Clarksville, where it intersects with Browns Station Way.

 

Once upon a time US 31 split at Sellersburg, Indiana (9 miles north of the Ohio River) and 31-E ran south from Sellersburg, parallel to the railroad tracks, to Clarksville, and continued south on a route that is now covered by I-65. Two access roads on either side of I-65 are named Old Highway 31. I am not certain what path 31-E followed from Eastern Boulevard to the Ohio. I'll look that up and post it later.

 

Ack! I missed it! Didn't go far enough. That means that I'll have to *go back again*! Well, since my hard drive crashed on me, I'll have an opportunity to retake some lost pictures. Hope I can do so sometime in the foressable future.

 

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