Short History of Roads and Highways – Indiana Edition

Short History of Roads and Highways

Short History of Roads and Highways
Short History of Roads and Highways

Short History of Roads and Highways


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The Short History of Roads and Highways – Indiana Edition relates the history of roads from the first primitive ridgeways to the modern interstate highway.

Ancient Highways

The Silk Highway and the Roman roads formed an important part of the ancient world’s transportation system. The Roman roads were so well engineered that many are still used today. The Silk Road played an indispensable role in the trade between Asia and Europe.
Indian Trails
In the New World the Incas of South America developed a system of excellent roads that allowed travel throughout their extensive empire. In North American extensive trail systems like the Great Warrior’s Path, the Buffalo Trace and Nemacolin’s Path connected the tribes in far flung regions, allowing them to trade goods with one another.

Pioneer Trails

The early pioneers used many of the Indian trails and wildlife trails and as time progressed, built their own. The Wilderness Road, Zane’s Trace, the Oregon Trail and the Santa Fe Trail wove their stories into American legend and history.

Early Highways

The rise of bicycles as a major transportation medium sparked the first calls for better roads. The Good Roads Movement began near the end of the Eighteenth Century. As automobiles began replacing bicycles, the cry for better roads increased, leading to the development of interstate roads like the Lincoln Highway, the National Road and many others.

US Highways

In the 1920’s the Congress established the US Highway network, a numbered highway system that stretched from coast to coast, both north and south.

Interstate Highways

General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s exposure to the autobahn system in Germany during his leadership in World War II advocated the development of a similar system in the United States. The United States Congress concurred, leading to the development of the modern interstate highway system we have today.
Indiana Roads
Development of a roadway system in Indiana followed the development of the state from Territory to Statehood. The Buffalo Trace was the first major highway in the state. Many pioneer traces followed the Indian trails, of which there was an extensive network, and wildlife trails. The Michigan Road was the state’s first major highway, linking Madison with Michigan City far to the north.

Related Books

Table of Contents

Short History of Railroads- Indiana Edition Short History of Fire Fighting – Indiana Edition A History of the Transportation Revolution
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Table of Contents

Introduction – Page 1
Evolution of Road Building Materials – Page 1
Historic Roads – Page 7
Native Roads and Wildlife roads in North America – Page 10
Old Pioneer Roads – Page 17
Named Highways – Page 41
The Beginnings of the United States Highway System – Page 32
The Push for Better Roads – Page 56
The Automobile – Page 61
The Modern Highway Emerges – Page 76
Classifications of Roads – Page 81
Indiana Edition – Page 88
Amerindian Trails in Indiana – Page 88
Indiana Pioneer Traces – Page 101
Early Indiana Named Highways – Page 120
Indiana Roads Prior to 1850 – Page 128
Indiana Roads Between 1850 and 1900 – Page 133
Main Market Highways – Page 137
Indiana County – Back Road Numbering System – Page 140
Acknowledgements – Page 144
About the Author – Page 161
Mossy Feet Books Catalogue – Page 162
Sample Chapter – Page 163
Short History of Fire Fighting – Indiana Edition
February 29, 1920 – Hotel Mudlavia Is Destroyed By Fire

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© 2023 Paul Wonning


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