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A New Map Resource Or "the Road To Kokomo"

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Mobilene asked for a couple of maps of Indiana from South Bend to Indianapolis for a trip he plans, so I will start with these. These are from the Official 1916 TIB Automobile Route Book. TIB, BTW stood for Touring Information Bureau of America.


I am going to post more material concerning his route, and I want to use this as something of an experiment and test as to what works and what doesn’t.


I am considering starting to create a free on line resource library for old road fans. I have thousands of maps, guides, and such in my collection, which is probably among the best in the country. It is not the best, nor is it superior to some special interest collections of a narrower scope.


I should add immediately that my target is not map collectors per se because there are already fine sites for collectors. I want something that will help those who love to follow old roads, and which will generate interest and dialog.


It probably won’t be very “professional” as I don’t care to devote the time nor the resources to a commercial enterprise. And the maps will necessarily carry visable watermarks.


And if you know of someone else with a similar project underway, I will happily defer. This isn’t about being first, best, or most loved!!


These two maps are at 740 width, about the biggest I can do on this site without links, and about the smallest useful if you print them out. I am going to experiment with a variety of approaches to see what might be useful and easy to maintain. Clearly, it will involve a seperate site, not maps embedded in posts!


If you have thoughts on the subject, or perhaps want to add your collection, let’s dialog.


Keep the Show on the Road!





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Here are is the Rand McNally Auto Trails map for your trip. I have included most of the trail markers for the area as well.


I haven’t tried to date this map, but most of these were from the late teens to 1925. The red dots are Buick Dealers. As was common, hotels and auto companies had the base maps modified for their use. If you need more precise dates, let me know.


More coming as I dig around. I think maybe Hobbs next.


I guess I better check….are these the kind want?


Keep the Show on the Road














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These are fabulous!!!!!


A few reactions while I have just a minute.


1. The Official South Bend TIB Station at 200 W. Jefferson, Ross Martin's Garage, doesn't exist anymore. South Bend's big civic center, the Century Center, sits on that site. I remember when the Century Center was built in the late 1970s, but don't remember what was there before.


2. Perrysburg is an unincorporated town today, with a few homes along old US 31 just before it disappears into a farm field.


3. The SB-Kokomo route appears to follow old SR 1/US 31, although roughly in some spots. That funny jogover at Peru was part of US 31 until they rerouted it in the 70s, however.


4. The "left" Kokomo-Indy route may follow old SR 1/US 31, at least up to Carmel. My maps going back to 1930 show US 31 bowing wide west just north of Carmel to line up with Meridian St. in Indianapolis. This map shows entrance to Marion Co. (now Indy) on Westfield Blvd., which IIRC my old maps say was SR 431 years ago. SR 431 is now moved east of there a few blocks.


5. The "right" Kokomo-Indy route appears to use what was the first alignment of IN SR 37 from Noblesville south. SR 37 has been realigned twice and is now muxed with I-69 through there. Allisonville is no more -- where it was is now the site of the state's "most dangerous" intersection, with the most accidents per year anywere in Indiana. One day I'll take a trip up Allisonville Road with my camera. Anyway, I don't recognize the rest of this route, from Noblesville north, though I have been to Atlanta on a train ride, from the Indiana Transportation Museum in Fishers. Atlanta doesn't have much going for it anymore.


Well. That took more than a minute.


We cross posted! The map is wonderful! It shows the classic US 31 route, except that it may still enter Indy on Westfield Blvd.


This is just the stuff I have hoped for!


Ok, now I must close my browser and get back to work, or I will surely get lost in that map, tracing the roads I know exist today. I found Miami Road on it right off.



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Here's what jumped out at me: Carmel, Population 700 ... What is it now? Approaching 70,000?


Anyway, KtSotR, just to throw my .02 cents in, yes this would be an awesome resource for all of us, especially newbies like me who don't yet own any reference older than the 1940s.

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The following three pages are the directions from the 1913 Automobile Blue Book. Directions the other way are also available. I probably have a later ABB which would better match the TIB and Auto Trails Maps. I’ll look for that.


Hobbs didn’t help.




Thanks for the comments. That is exactly what I need to know. More later...I'm copying maps and stuff! :D








Keep the Show on the Road!

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I have a 1941 AAA Tour Guide book that has a good map of the Indy-South Bend route up U S 31. I can post it on here if I can figure out how to do it.

The strip map shows the streets to travel in Indianapolis, Kokomo, Peru and South Bend. Also shows, but does not name, streets in Rochester and Plymouth - but does show the street alignment.

Or email it to somebody.



Alex Burr

Edited by hester_nec
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This is the last batch for today. We are getting an unseasonable early rain and the gutters need re cleaning!


These are from the 1920 Cleveland Automobile Club Blue Book


Have fun, and keep the advice and comments coming!




I'm sure the 1941 material would be valuable. If you can email me a copy as an attachment, I will post it and identify you as the source.


Keep the Show on the Road!











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