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From: John Jeffrey Hill
Date: 12-04-2014 12:42:08 pm

Subject: History of the Dixie Highway


History of the Dixie Highway

By John Jeffrey Hill

The Dixie Highway once carried people all the way from Canada to Florida via the Midwestern states. Today most of the remains of the highway have been absorbed into the new numbering system that takes into account all US highways, although an incomplete puzzle remains on some portions of the road.

Carl Fischer who always dreamed of a highway that could run all the way from Indianapolis to Miami coined the name "Dixie." Dixie was to honor and reflect the 50 years of peace that existed between the Southern and Northern U.S. states. Indianapolis was actually his home town and the ideas for building the highway were being toiled with in 1910, including the making of road plans, participant members and mapping routes. The original plan had finally been conceived and was to connect Chicago, IL to Jacksonville, FL. By 1916, there were already plans to extend the highway all the way to Canada.

By 1925 the road was built and stretched all the way from Ontario, Canada to Florida City, FL in a span covering over 5,700 miles. However, during this time the U.S. highway system also started using its new numbering system as a way of integrating all the highways into one style of nomenclature. For example, the famous "Lincoln" Highway, which ran from coast to coast became US 30, while the National Pike, which connected the Ohio rivers with Potomac became US 40. This led to the dissolution of the Dixie Highway as many parts of it were disbanded into the new numbering system.

Here are a few examples of the new methods of alignment that followed the disbanding of the Dixie Highway:

The road from Jacksonville, FL to Miami, FL became US Route 1.

? The road from Jacksonville, FL to Savannah, GA became US Route 17.

? The road from Miami, FL to Punta Gorda, FL became US Route 41.

? The road from Punta Gorda, FL to Orlando, FL became US Route 17.

? The road from Orlando, FL to High Springs, FL became US Route 441.

The Dixie Highway Today

Some of the old portions of the Dixie Highway can still be identified today using concrete markers, which have been placed due to strong preservation efforts by local Departments of Transportation. At one point, a special symbol was used to identify the highway made of a red striped marker that had the letters "DH" on it. This was usually used on telegraph and phone poles that were found along the route.

Today's version is essentially the very crowded Interstate 75, a modern "Dixie Highway" that carries millions of cars and trucks each year.

For more information on historic roads visit: Dixie Highway or

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United States Travel -    07-09-2007 14:33:56 pm
      History of the Dixie Highway - John Jeffrey Hill   12-04-2014 12:42:08 pm


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