Friday, June 24, 2011

Dixie Highway Question

A quick question for all you highway buffs out there...Was Saginaw Street downtown considered part of the Dixie Highway system?

10 comments:

  1. I'm not sure if Saginaw St. in Flint was, or if it was Dort Highway, which was essentially an early bypass. North and South of the two intersections of Saginaw St. and Dort Highway, definitely, but that is outside the city limits. Before Dort Highway, I would think that it would have been.

    There are several north south routes that had the name "Dixie Highway". For many, it was mainly an informal name.

    I'm not sure if this site would have any answers, but it is interesting to look at.

    http://www.michiganhighways.org/

    ReplyDelete
  2. Here's more specific information, but it's still kind of cryptic. I don't recall seeing those signs, though.


    http://www.michiganhighways.org/indepth/auto_trails2.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. We always used the Dixie Hwy label for Dort Hwy (so did many of the businesses along Dort).

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm pretty sure it was Dort (it would have made sense to bypass downtown). I do remember that when you got to where Saginaw met Dort in Grand Blanc in the sixties, there was a sign indicating that it was Dixie from there south (where it eventually became Woodward Avenue in Detroit, after going through Waterford and Pontiac). Once north of Mount Morris, I think it was called Dixie Highway again. Living in south Florida for the past few years (back in southern Cal now) it was interesting to see that what they called Dixie Highway down there closely paralleled US 1, or Federal Highway.

    ReplyDelete
  5. At one time, Dort Highway was known as Dixie Highway, and it was not M-54 as it is today. It was US-10.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dort highway or 54 was the old Dixie highway and it did go down south to Dixie right through Detroit. It was the city limits at one time. It joined N. Saginaw and continued on as the Dixie or Highway 54 North.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks like it's Dort Highway rather than Saginaw Street downtown. Thanks for the help.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The answer is no. Dixie Highway branched off to what is now Dort Highway at present day Saginaw and Dort in Grand Blanc, continuing northbound on Dort. Saginaw Street was never Dixie Highway. Dixie Highway WAS US-10 at one time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. A lot of the funding for the earliest interurban paved-road building came from the Feds...it's a continuing theme...and in this case what we know as the Dixie was originally the Military Road, intended for "rapidly" getting garrison forces from Fort Detroit up to defend Fort Mackinac...I guess to protect us from invasion by those dastardly Canadians.

    The Military Road was Saginaw Street within the Flint city limits.

    http://i1203.photobucket.com/albums/bb388/JWilly_Flint/DARplaque2compressedrotated.jpg

    Above is an image of a forlorn bronze plaque placed by the DAR on a stone plinth, commemorating this interesting history for the few of us who still care. It's just south of the southern Saginaw/Dort intersection. If you want to see it "in the flesh" so to speak, look fast. I expect it to mysteriously disappear when someone buys the now-empty commercial property in front of which it sits.

    Anybody here a member of the DAR? Did they ever publish a directory of all the Michigan plaques they placed and memorial projects they funded?

    ReplyDelete
  10. After some research, the answer is actually Yes, the Dixie Highway was routed on Saginaw St. through downtown Flint. The Dixie Highway began as a route boosted and sponsored in 1915, long before Dort Highway was constructed. The East leg of the Dixie Highway passed through Flint (see http://www.us-highways.com/dixiehwye.htm, http://www.us-highways.com/dixiehwy.htm, and http://www.us-highways.com/tzimm/dhmap23.htm). I have a 1926 Standard Oil Michigan map that shows Dort Highway did not yet exist, so the Dixie had to be on Saginaw St. The route name "Dixie Highway" was not always a street name in those days before numbered highways, but it was often adopted by localities to help describe the roads that comprised the route.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for commenting.
www.teardownbook.com