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Topics - Carnut

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Everyone is familiar with our highways often flanking rail lines and telephone/telegraph lines existing between them.  In Michigan, Virginia, and probably many states there are roads named "Telegraph Road."  Some of them later became U.S. Highways or parts of U.S. Highways.  An 1866 act of Congress granted telegraph companies access and easement across public lands and along Postal Roads however whether any of their construction and maintenance roads became any of the named seems to be without any specific mention.  It would be interesting to know just how many of those roads actually became a part of our highway system.

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General U.S. Highway Topics / Historic Markers
« on: May 11, 2008, 10:13:03 AM »
Ever wonder what was on those Historic Markers you didn't have the time to stop and read?  There are tens of thousands of them along our much cherished two lane highways and thanks to a Historic Markers web site we can now look up that marker we missed.

http://www.historicmarkers.com/

Enjoy!

Jim

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Highway 6 / Great U.S. 6 Link
« on: May 10, 2008, 05:19:11 PM »
Discovered the U.S. 6 Tourist Association Site and those guys seem to really have their stuff together with respect to promotion, tourism, and preservation.  They seem to have a good model for any group to follow in promoting and preserving their favorite historic two lane highway.

http://www.route6tour.com/

Jim

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Old Spanish Trail / Is this really a historical named trail?
« on: May 09, 2008, 02:13:52 PM »
Is this really a historical named trail? I raise the question on the basis that prior to 1915, or maybe more accurately 1926, there had been no previously known contiguous trail across this route, which was created for the most part from a patchwork of existing roads across eight states and being called "The Old Spanish Trail" by an association most specifically interested in creating commercial and tourism interests into their states.  Unlike other "named trails" the route in general was never used as a route of pioneers expanding civilization across the continent.  Yes, there are areas along this route which were indeed used by very early Spanish Explorers, and even for limited commercial purposes regionally, but never as a contiguous coast to coast route followed by early Spanish occupiers of the area,  pioneers, or merchants.  In other words, there were few, if any, wagon trains filled with settlers ever headed Westward across America on any part of this route.  No wagons Ho!  Barely Model A's Ho!



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Highway 80 / Information Resource on U.S. 80 through Texas
« on: May 07, 2008, 12:48:35 PM »
TxDot has a wonderful history resource for U.S. 80 going back to 1927. While it does not map individual small alignment changes it does give routing through towns and cities along with the mileage between the cities.  Alignment changes are indicated from the differences in mileage between towns over the years.  In some cases the exact street names through cities are specifically noted.  Enjoy!

http://www.dot.state.tx.us/tpp/hwy/us/us0080.htm   

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Highway 90 / U.S. 90, the Eastern end of the OST
« on: May 06, 2008, 10:20:39 PM »
Without repeating a lot of information on other sites concerning what was dubbed as the OST by the Old Spanish Trail Association of the 1915-1929 period I figured this discussion area deserved to give recognition to that organization and to tie U.S. 90 to the OST identification, though there is only limited evidence the Spanish ever had trails over much of what became U.S. 90 in 1926.

Jim

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Highway 80 / U.S. 80 in Texas
« on: December 18, 2007, 09:08:11 PM »
First, this is a wonderful site and a fine tribute to U.S. 80.  I may be one of the few non truck driver types which have made a coast to coast trip more than once on U.S. 80 and have seen first hand many of the changes made in the 1950's and early 1960's before the completion of I-20, I-10, and I-8 (took all three to replace U.S. 80).

I grew up in Longview, Texas, which is located on U.S. 80.  Unlike many U.S. Highways the stretch of U.S. 80 between Dallas and Longview are pretty much as it was in 1960, though I-20 has taken most of the through traffic from it.  Also unlike so many routes where an Interstate Highway by-passed smaller towns, most of the towns on this stretch of U.S. 80 seem to have survived without serious incident.  Perhaps this is because I-20 was routed close enough to them the affect on most local businesses was minimal, who knows.

Until the late 1950's this particular stretch of U.S. 80 was basically two lanes through somewhat hilly terrain and there was a number of terrible automobile wrecks every month along this 120 mile or so stretch.  Circa 1957 the Texas Highway Department (now Texas Dept. of Transportation) began a widening project that would widen the entire 120 miles to four lanes within existing right of way space.  Needless to say the completion of the widening project saved many lives.

Taking a trip from Dallas to Longview or visa-versa today is basically a blast to the past on a highway that is in wonderful shape.  Many of the motels that existed along the way in the 1950's are still there.  Some even maintained well enough to spend a night.  There are also a number of eateries that were there in the 1950's. (I particularly recommend Johnny Caces Steak an Seafood House in Longview - great food and nice atmosphere)  Of course there are also the invaders in the form of today's typical fast food chains (Ugh).

 

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