mobilene Posted May 8, 2008 Report Share Posted May 8, 2008 If the weather holds, on Saturday I will begin to travel and document the Michigan Road in Indiana. For those who missed my earlier words on this topic, the Michigan Road was built in the 1830s using state funds. Some sources I've read call it the first state highway, but I'm pretty sure the Mauxferry Road and the Madison State Road, both older than the Michigan Road, were built with state funds. But where the Mauxferry Road and the Madison State Road were built to carry people from the south, where the bulk of Indiana's population lived, to Indianapolis, the Michigan Road was built to carry people from the south to the north, allowing the north to be settled. The Michigan Road's original route is mostly intact. I know of only a few exceptions, most notably that some of the road is buried under I-74 southeast of Indianapolis, and a railroad crossing appears to have been removed when US 20 was routed around Rolling Prairie near the Michigan line in the 1940s meaning you can't drive over the tracks anymore. But there's plenty of excellent goodness left. Two one-lane 1800s bridges remain, as do two short one-lane alignments. There are three alignments bypassed by modern highways, at least one of which has never been part of the state highway system. And along the way there are a whole bunch of houses built in the 1800s when the road was new. I'm going to start in Madison on Saturday and take my time. Unlike my usual trips, I will linger as long as I darn well please over any section of the route, and just head home when I run out of daylight. I will keep going back all summer when I can get away, and I'll take the dogs with me as long as they are healthy (my Rottweiler was diagnosed with cancer this week). I will do my usual Web writeups, but since it takes me for-freeking-ever to get to that I'll share the best photos here first. I have slowly been buying old postcards via eBay showing scenes along the route, from south to north, to give a flavor of the road from as much as 100 years ago, and I'll post some of those images too. jim Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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