The plight of the rapidly rising numbers of early motorists soonspawned a "good roads" movement that included many efforts to build and pave long-distance, colorfully named auto trails across the length and breadth of the nation. Full of a can-do optimism, these early partisans of motoring sought to link together existing roads and then make them fit for automobile driving-blazing, marking, grading, draining, bridging, and paving them. The most famous of these named highways was the Lincoln Highway between New York City and San Francisco. By early 1916, a proposedcounterpart coursing north and south from Winnipeg to New Orleans had also been laid out.
Called the Jefferson Highway, it eventually followed several routes through Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The Jefferson Highway, the first book on this pioneering road, covers its origin, history, and significance, as well as its eventual fading from most memories following the replacement of names by numbers on long-distance highways after 1926. Saluting one of the most important of the early named highways on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, historian Lyell D. Henry Jr. contributes to the growing literature on the earliest days of road-building and long-distance motoring in the United States. For readers who might also want to drive the original route of the Jefferson Highway, three chapters trace that route through Iowa, pointing out many vintage features of the roadside along the way. The perfect book for a summer road trip!
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Number of pages: 220
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
"Travelers wise enough to shun the monotonous, crowded turnpikes and interstates must read this well-researched book. They will discover that the Jefferson Highway--the first transcontinental international highway traversing North America from north to south--is alive and well, especially in Iowa, where a century ago the brainchild of a Des Moines publisher became a reality."-- Michael Wallis, author, Route 66: The Mother Road
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