Author Topic: Bankhead route in Arkansas  (Read 33739 times)

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #15 on: February 25, 2013, 10:18:31 AM »
Map number 3.
This is the 1939 Edmondson 15-minute quad.
It shows about 10 miles of the Bankhead Highway approximately mid way between Edmondson and Widener, Arkansas. The towns of Simsboro, Chatfield, Democrat, and Greasy Corner are pretty much non-existent now.

This one is also oriented with west upward and north to the right, the same orientation as the Dunn guide.
The mileages for both the Dunn guide and the Automobile Blue Book correspond to each other, and to the map, well.
The 45.3 waypoint is a creek (bayou) without any name in the Dunn guide. The point shown works out as exactly 5.5 miles past Cut-off Bayou according to my Garmin software, so it's likely correct. The road is not show in Dunn, but it might be why there was a mileage point here.
Red mileages and arrows are from the Dunn guide, while blue are from the 1923 ABB.

    

« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:39:12 AM by Parsa »

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #16 on: February 25, 2013, 05:20:48 PM »
Map number 4.
This is the 1940 Whitmore 15-minute quad.
It shows Madison and Widener, Arkansas and the area about 10 miles east of Widener.
This one is also oriented with west upward and north to the right, the same orientation as the Dunn guide.
The building on the Dunn Guide at 47.3 is likely the Shiloh Church (still extant), but the Blackfish School was once adjacent to the church. The school is not present on the map by 1956.
The old St. Francis River bridge is present on topo maps as late as 1960, but is gone on the 1986 1:100000 map.
Red mileages and arrows are from the Dunn guide, while blue are from the 1923 ABB.

    
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:32:49 AM by Parsa »

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2013, 08:04:11 PM »
Map number 5.
This is from the 1939 Wynne 15-minute quad.
It shows Forrest City, Arkansas.
The magenta route seems to be fairly accurate to the path shown on the Locke guide and described in the 1923 Automobile Blue Book. The mileages on both match each other.
The Dunn guide goes along Front Street near the tracks. Red = Dunn, blue = Blue Book.

  


This map shows what I think is this same route (but here shown in green). The approximate Dunn guide route is in red.

  


Locke guide map showing Forrest City:

« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:30:09 AM by Parsa »

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2013, 08:16:33 PM »
I'll re-post the upper half of the Dunn guide for reference:

  


And here is the Locke guide map showing the section between Forrest City and De Valls Bluff:

  


The 1923 Automobile Blue Book description as far as Brinkley follows:


 55.7  Forrest City, Jackson & Rosser Sts. at filing sta. Ahead of Jackson St.
  55.8  End of street; jog left and right 1 blk.
  55.9  Division St.; left 1 blk.
  56.0  4-cor.; right.
  56.1  End of road; left. Thru Palestine 63.3; Goodwin 70.3.
  75.7  Wheatly [Wheatley], 4-cor. at stores. Left and right along RR and follow gravel.
  81.4  Brinkley, Main St. at RR. Left 1 blk.
  81.5  Ash St.; right.




« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 09:24:18 PM by Parsa »

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2013, 01:56:26 PM »
Map number 6.
This is the 1940 Marianna 15-minute quad. West is at top, and north is to the right.
This is from west of Forrest City almost to Goodwin, Arkansas. Palestine, AR is at the center of the map.

This section includes a bypasses alignment adjacent to the L'Anguille River. The bridge seems to be gone, but there does seem to be a bit of structure on the east bank. The roads on either side of the river show as traces through the trees on aerial photos. A glimpse of road can be seen here and there. The railroad crossing between Becks and the river no longer exists. The easternmost section of this road still exists southwest of the old rail crossing.
A detour route is shown in orange.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Automobile Blue Book 1923. Black numbers = Locke guide mileages.

  

« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:41:30 AM by Parsa »

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2013, 08:34:37 AM »
Map number 7.
This one needs some annotation regarding the detours....
This is the east half of the 1940 Brinkley 15-minute quad.
It shows the section between the little village of Goodwin west to Wheatley, Arkansas.

The highway crossed to the north side of the RR line just to the west of Goodwin, AR. The first half mile is disused. County Road 125 crosses the tracks, and a primitive track heads west. However, there is no bridge, and a stream floods the old highway just west of Goodwin.
One half mile west of Goodwin, a county road (913 or 127) connects US 70 to the old highway. This section on the north side of the RR is marked CR 910. Between this crossing and Blossom Road there are two culverts. County Road 910 continues west for one more mile past Blossom Road (where there was once a siding). There are 3 culverts in this one mile stretch.
The next 3/4 mile section appears disused also. There is a drainage (not a creek I think, and perhaps more modern) about half way along this stretch, and it seems there may be no bridge, though it's not visible due to trees. The road appears as just a rough track on the east side of the drainage. Most of the road west of the drainage is good road as it leads to a radio tower near the drainage.
A crossing exists to access this road and a house, marked CR 906. From Goodwin to this point the road is shown as an improved tertiary road (the 1940 topo shows it as a red and white secondary road). The highway continues west of this crossing and is marked "Old US 70" on Google Maps. The modern topo shows this road as dirt. This road does appear to be two track dirt. A rough RR crossing occurs in about 0.6 miles where there was a well, and formerly several houses or buildings. At 0.75 miles there seems to be a culvert. The road continues all the way to Wheatley. A small culvert appears just before reaching  Arkansas SR 78 (that does not appear on the 1940 topo).
The highway enters Wheatley on 2nd Street. The Dunn guide almost makes it look like there was a jog north along 3rd. The main crossroads of town was evidently 2nd and Memphis Avenue, as a few old buildings exist there, and a whole block of buildings appear on the 1940 topo. The Dunn guide, Locke guide, and the Auto Blue Book may differ on the mileage point for Wheatley, but they all should be near this intersection. The road turned left (south) on Dennis St, as it does today. Where there is a crossing today, the road once continued west north of the tracks, but no road appears now. The current crossing is just east of an old RR line, and Union Street to the southeast runs along this old RR berm.
Just west of the Monroe-St. Francis county line there is a bridge over Flat Fork Creek (called Flat Fork Little River in 1940). This bridge still exists, and can be accessed from the RR crossing and a paved road west of the creek. This leads to a house and a former fish pond facility. The bridge is just to the right after the RR crossing.
The Bankhead crossed back to the south side of the tracks here and continued west.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Auto Blue Book 1923. Black mileages = Locke guide. Orange lines = detours onto US 70.

    

« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:43:44 AM by Parsa »

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2013, 02:25:50 PM »
Map number 8.
This is the west half of the 1940 Brinkley 15-minute quad.
It shows the area of Brinkley, Arkansas, and about 3 miles east and 4 miles southwest of town.

A dogleg turn occurs east of Brinkley along Weller Lane and Bayne Avenue. The road crossed Piney Ditch on a small bridge that still seems to exist. The road then jogged south again and entered Brinkley on US 70. The section across Penny Ditch is bypassed now by US 70, which must be used as a detour.
The Dunn guide has its 0.0 mileage point at the St. Francis Motor Company. An old garage still exists at this location between the rail line and Main Street. It is just east of New Orleans Avenue, and has an old sign saying "Stewmon Auto Supply."
Ash Street in Brinkley eventually becomes Country Club Road. On the far west side of the map (top section), the Country Club Road alignment ends at Chicken Farm Road, though it once continued, and crossed US 70 at a shallow angle. It then passed into a farm, and made a right turn west. Evidently there was once a school here according to the Automobile Blue Book. Today, US 70 must be used as a detour from Chicken Farm Road to beyond the point where Arkansas SR 17 turns south.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Auto Blue Book 1923. Black mileages = Locke guide. Orange lines = detours onto US 70.

  
« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:46:24 AM by Parsa »

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2013, 04:04:05 PM »
Time to post the next section of the Dunn guide to the Bankhead Highway. This is for Brinkley to Little Rock.

    


Here's the Automobile Blue Book 1923 description:


  81.4   Brinkley, Main St. at RR. Left 1 blk.
  81.5   Ash St.; right.
  85.9   Right-hand road at school; right.
  94.7   Cache River Ferry. Leaving ferry keep ahead. Through Brassfield 94.8.
  95.8   End of road; left and follow stone.
  96.9   4-cor.; right.
  97.1   Biscoe, end of street. Right 1 blk. and left across RR.
  97.8   4-cor.; right.
  100.7  White River Ferry. Leaving ferry kep ahead.
  101.7  DeValls Bluffs, irreg. 4-cor. Keep ahead 1 short blk. and turn right. Thru Mesa 103.7.
  103.9  End of road; left.
  104.6  4-cor.; right.
  109.3  4-cor.; right.
  109.7  Hazen, 4-cor. at park. Left. Thru Screeton 114.9; Carlisle 119.2.
  119.4  4-cor. left and follow macadam.
  130.3  Center St.; right.
  130.8  Lonoke, Center & Front Sts. at RR. Left onto Front St.
  131.2  Left-hand road; left.
  131.4  End of road; right.
  132.3  4-cor.; right and follow macadam. Thru Galloway 145.6.
  151.3  Diag. 4-cor. beyond RR. Right.
  154.1  Maple St. 1 blk. beyond trolley; left.
  154.6  LITTLE ROCK, Main & Markham Sts. beyond bridge.


« Last Edit: March 03, 2013, 04:31:13 PM by Parsa »

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #23 on: March 05, 2013, 04:10:37 PM »
Map number 9.
This is the east half of the De Valls Bluff 15-minute quad from 1941. West is upward, and north is to the right.
It shows the area of the small towns of Biscoe (aka Fedonia) and Brasfield, Arkansas, as well as about 7 miles of swampy forested land to the east.

The Dunn guide shows a turn north to the site of Dagmar on the former Chicago Rock Island railroad line. It then traveled west all the way to the Cache River Ferry crossing along the north side of the rail line. This evidently eventually became the first alignment of US 70. An entire 5 miles has been abandoned and is shown as "HIGHWAY ABANDONED" on the 1941 quad. All the bridges on current US 70 were built in 1930. The abandoned section has several concrete bridges visible through the trees. This is a real jungle here. The first section of this abandoned highway is through the Sheffield Nelson Dagmar Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The map for the WMA shows the old highway as unimproved. The animal list for the WMA shows every animal from the South you can think of in here: wild pigs, gators, bear, deer, all sorts of snakes including a half dozen venomous ones, etc.
I'm not sure how much of the total road is drivable. It's possible there's a gate on the west end of the WMA area, but since the road leads straight east to the ranger station, maybe not. In any event, this section should be awesome to explore.
The ferry was replaced by a bridge at some point. This is still shown on the 1941 topo. Another bridge is shown a bit farther north. This may have been an even older bridge as indicated on the Locke guide map. The piers of both bridges are all that remains.
The highway proceeded through Brasfield and west toward Biscoe, also known as Fredonia. The Dunn and Locke guides show a similar zig zag alignment. Unfortunately, the description in the Automobile Blue Book doesn't make much sense. The distances are too long and the directional turns take you around almost in a circle. Still, it does also indicate quite a bit of left and right turns. I've approximated what I think Dunn is showing on the second map. It's really just a guess based on the visible turns and the sizes of the roads in Biscoe. The rail line has been removed in town, but one signal still remains at the original crossing. All the business activity in Biscoe moved to current US 70 after 1930, so no commercial buildings seem to remain.
After crossing the rail line, the old highway continued straight south, then turned west, passing two cemeteries before rejoining current US 70.

The Locke guide does not follow the north side of the Rock Island RR as Dunn does. Instead, it remains on the south side of the RR until almost to the Cache River Ferry. It then crosses the tracks to the north side to reach the ferry. It's uncertain where that happened. The Dunn guide does show this route as a "detour", likely if the other road is flooded, which happens often in this area.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Auto Blue Book 1923. Black mileages = Locke guide. Orange lines = detours onto US 70.


    



« Last Edit: March 06, 2013, 10:55:38 AM by Parsa »

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2013, 12:17:44 PM »
Map number 10.
This is the west half of the De Valls Bluff 15-minute quad from 1941. West is upward, and north is to the right. (The survey section lines are quite skewed in this area.)
It shows the area around the town of DeValls Bluff, Arkansas.

I don't know the exact location of the White River ferry, but I assume it was approximately where the 1924 bridge was located. A great deal of information about the bridge, and a lot of history of the area, is available as a PDF via the bridge page on the Library of Congress site. The bridge site now has boat launches on each bank.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Auto Blue Book 1923. Black mileages = Locke guide. Orange lines = detours onto US 70.

    


The 1924 White River bridge at DeValls Bluff. This was a lift bridge with three Pratt trusses. In this picture the lift is in the up position. The bridge was taken down in 2002, and a new US 70 bridge built.

    


Another view of the White River bridge. This is a relatively recent (1997) shot before its demolition. Photo by J. Lance courtesy of Bridgehunter.com.

    
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 01:18:28 PM by Parsa »

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #25 on: March 08, 2013, 01:37:18 PM »
Time for the third Locke guide map. This is DeValls Bluff to Little Rock, Arkansas.



Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #26 on: March 09, 2013, 09:35:57 PM »
Map number 11.
This is the Hazen 15-minute quad from 1941. West is upward, and north is to the right.
It shows the area of Hazen and Carlisle, Arkansas.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Auto Blue Book 1923. Black mileages = Locke guide.


    
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 12:06:08 PM by Parsa »

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2013, 10:13:19 AM »
Map number 12.
This is the Lonoke 15-minute quad from 1940. West is upward, and north is to the right.
It shows the area between Carlisle and Lonoke, Arkansas, as well as a few miles west of Lonoke.

Note that the road on the west side of Carlisle is called Bankhead Drive (Google has Avenue and Street). This road has been interrupted north of US 70 by a fairly new alignment of Arkansas State Route 13 (also called Bankhead). The street view doesn't even show this road yet (2013), so you can "drive" through fields in street view.

The Dunn guide seems to have an extra, unneeded jog south at the 43.7 mileage mark. Dunn seems to have used Locke as a source, at least that's my opinion, and he may have gotten confused by all the turns here. All the miles still work out with Locke, and would not if there were some extra jog south. It's possible that this was just some slight jog in the road, since Dunn often exaggerates such jogs, and his scales vary continuously. This map is a good example of that. Some legs of equal length on his map can vary from 0.3 to 1.5 miles.

The Automobile Blue Book was the most helpful in figuring out the stair step path on the west side of Lonoke. The mileages from the various sources agree fairly well. Locke shows no mileages on this stair step path. The last step on the south side (49.8 to 51.0 in Dunn) has a mileage that's a bit too long in Dunn, but the total miles all work out. It actually should be somewhere around 0.8 to 0.9 miles. The 1928 strip map from the Automobile Club of Southern California has 1.0 miles, which is closer. I've little doubt that my path is correct since it seems the early US 70 route went this way, and big curves were added to the the right angle turns.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Auto Blue Book 1923. Black mileages = Locke guide.

      

« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 12:05:39 PM by Parsa »

Parsa

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2013, 12:05:01 PM »
Map number 13.

This is the 7.5 minute (1:31680) Jacksonville quad from 1943.
This is a 7 mile section between Lonoke and Galloway, AR.
There are no 15 minute maps in the vicinity of Little Rock since there were preexisting 1:125000 (30 minute, 1 inch = 2 miles) topo maps. These, however, are quite old (1890s), so I'm using the oldest 7.5 minutes maps. These, fortunately, are from the same era as the 15 minutes maps (late 30s and into the 40s).

This map isn't too exciting. There's only one mileage point in this stretch, the junction and joining with current State Route 161.

Red = Dunn guide. Black mileage = Locke guide.


    
« Last Edit: March 13, 2013, 02:48:37 PM by Parsa »

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Re: Bankhead route in Arkansas
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2013, 08:33:10 AM »
Map number 14.

This is the 7.5 minute (1:24000) Mc Almont quad from 1935.
This is the area east of Little Rock, AR.

The Bankhead is marked "US HY NO 70" on this map. The Automobile Blue Book (1923) directions seem to turn west along Broadway Street (US 70 path) at mileage point 151.3 rather than following Lincoln Avenue. However, Lincoln, according to the ABB map of Little Rock, is the main route, and is called Pike Avenue. The Locke guide was particularly clear as to the Bankhead route. The Dunn guide does not clearly show the turn onto Washington Ave, but the mileages for the RR crossings match those of the Locke guide.

Red = Dunn guide. Blue = Auto Blue Book 1923. Black mileage = Locke guide.