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American Roads: Site Map > American Auto Trails > Dixie Overland Highway

Dixie Overland Highway

US 80 Map

Dixie Overland Highway marker The Dixie Overland Highway was an early American auto trail. It connected Savannah, Georgia on the Atlantic with San Diego, California on the Pacific. The Dixie Overland Highway has a rare privelege among named auto trails. Most of the trails were ignored when numbered US highways were created in 1926. The Dixie Overland, in contrast, almost exactly corresponds to U.S. Highway 80.

Pates Bridge on Dixie Overland Highway The Dixie Overland Highway Association formed on July 17, 1914. The association formed after a pathfinding trip was made across the state of Georgia, from Savannah to Columbus, by the Automobile Club of Savannah. This was the first auto trail association formed that would follow any part of what would become US 80.

Dixie Overland Highway SignThe Dixie Overland Highway Association was officially incorporated in the state of Georgia on February 14, 1917. It's motto was "The Shortest and Only Year Round Ocean to Ocean Highway." Way ahead of the rest of the country, Colonel Ed Fletcher and the citizens of San Diego County decided they wanted all of their California section of transcontinental highway paved. The California section would eventually become part of the Southern National Highway, Lee Highway, Old Spanish Trail Highway and Bankhead Highway as well. By 1917, most of the California section was paved with a narrow roadway of either Portland cement or plank road from Yuma all the way to San Diego.

Mountain Springs Survey GroupIn May 1919, with encourgement from Ed Fletcher, the Dixie Overland Highway Association chose San Diego as its western terminus, and elected him as president of the association. One month before the final approval of the US Numbered Highway System in 1926, Colonel Ed Fletcher decided to head a single-car time-race along the Dixie Overland Highway from San Diego to Savannah in a Cadillac sedan. The team in the Cadillac made the run in 71 hours and 15 minutes across a distance of 2535 miles, a transcontinental record-shattering feat at the time and still impressive today. The group later traveled south to St. Augustine, Florida to begin the return journey via the Old Spanish Trail.

Dixie Overland Highway National Highways Association MapThe US Numbered Highway System was created in November 1926. Much of the Dixie Overland Highway became US Route 80. The only parts of the DOH that were not incorporated into US 80 were three sections in Georgia, two short sections in Alabama, and one across western Texas. The sections not included as part of US 80 were:

  • Between Savannah and Stilson, Georgia

  • Between Stateboro and Twin City, Georgia

  • Between Haskins Crossing and Colombus, Georgia (State Route 26)

  • Between Browns and Uniontown, Alabama (mostly State Route 12)

  • Between Demopolis and Livingston, Alabama

  • Between Roscoe and El Paso, Texas (US 84, 380, 70, and 54)

 

Dixie Overland Highway cities and towns by State

  • Georgia

    Savannah, Brooklet, Statesboro, Register, Metter, Twin City (Graymont), Swainsboro, Adrian, Scott, East Dublin, Dublin, Dudley, Cochran, Hawkinsville, Montezuma, Oglethorpe, Ellaville, Buena Vista, Columbus.

  • Alabama

    Phenix City, Crawford, Tuskegee, Shorter, Waugh, Mt. Meigs, Montgomery, Benton, West Selmont, Selma, Potter, Marion Junction, Uniontown, Faunsdale, Prairieville, Demopolis, Coatopa, Livingston, York, Cuba.

  • Mississippi

    Toomsuba, Russell, Meridian, Lost Gap, Graham, Meehan Junction, Chunky, Hickory, Newton, Lawrence, Lake, Forest, Raworth, Morton, Clarksburg, Pelahatchie, Guide, Rankin, Brandon, Jackson, Clinton, Bolton, Edwards, Bovina, Vicksburg.

  • Louisiana

    Delta, Mound, Tallulah, Delhi, Dunn, Holly Ridge, Rayville, Girard, Crew Lake, Monroe, Calhoun, Choudrant, Ruston, Grambling Corners, Simsboro, Arcadia, Gibsland, Ada, Minden, Shreveport, Greenwood.

  • Texas

    Marshall, Longview, Dallas, Fort Worth, Weatherford, Palo Pinto, Breckenridge, Albanay, Abilene, Greatwater, Snyder, Gail, Tahoka, Brownfield, Plains, (into New Mexico), El Paso.

  • New Mexico

    Roswell, Alamagordo, (El Paso, TX), Deming, Lordsburg.

  • Arizona

    Douglas, Lowell, Bisbee, Tombstone, Benson, Pantano, Vail, Tucson, Florence, Superior, Apache Junction, Mesa, Tempe, Phoenix, Tolleson, Avondale, Liberty, Buckeye, Palo Verde, Arlington, Gila Bend, Piedra, Sentinel, Stanwix, Aztec, Stoval, Mohawk, Colfred, Wellton, Dome, Yuma.

  • California

    Winterhaven, Holtville, El Centro, Seeley, Dixieland, Jacumba, Boulevard, Pine Valley, Guatay, Descanso Junction, Alpine, El Cajon, La Mesa, San Diego.

 

Dixie Overland Highway routes and directions by State

  • Georgia

  • Alabama

  • Mississippi

  • Louisiana

  • Texas

  • New Mexico

  • Arizona

  • California

 

Dixie Overland Highway Links

United States Route 80: The Dixie Overland Highway (Federal Highway Adminstration)

 

The Plank Road - Journal of San Diego History

 

 

Copyright © S. Varner 2006