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The Remarkable Clamor for Good Roads and Highways with Names

Dr. Larry McClellan will be at the Peotone Public Library on Saturday, October 21, at 10 a.m.  At that time, he will talk about the highway systems in Illinois.

The highway systems are only 100 years old and were born as the result of fierce debates and an incessant clamor for “Good Roads.” From the 1890s until World War I, there is a fascinating combination of stories about road-building, named highways, and the “Good Roads” movement.

Before interstates and federal highways were distinguished by numbers – Route 30 or  I-55, for instance – these roads were christened with colorful names.  The Lincoln, Dixie, and Mississippi Valley Highways, and the Alton Way, Swastika Trail, and Corn Belt Route were all memorable roads that carried people across the state. From 1913 on, these were among the 51 named highways developed in Illinois.  Hear about the creation of these named highways and the eventual numbering systems for our roads.

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