Jun 18, 2017

The Dixie Highway in Illinois and Beverly / Morgan Park

The Dixie Highway was a United States automobile highway, first planned in 1914 to connect the US Midwest with the Southern United States. It was part of the National Auto Trail system, and grew out of an earlier Miami to Montreal highway. The final result is better understood as a network of connected paved roads, rather than one single highway. It was constructed and expanded from 1915 to 1927.

The Dixie Highway was inspired by the example of the slightly earlier Lincoln Highway, the first road across the United States. The prime booster of both projects was promoter and businessman Carl G. Fisher. It was overseen by the Dixie Highway Association, and funded by a group of individuals, businesses, local governments, and states. In the early years the U.S. federal government played little role, but from the early 1920s on it provided increasing funding, until 1927, when the Dixie Highway Association was disbanded and the highway was taken over as part of the U.S. Route system, with some portions becoming state roads.

James R. Wright, author of the book, The Dixie Highway in Illinois.

The Dixie Highway was once a main thoroughfare from Chicago to Miami, and was the longest continuous paved road in Illinois when it was completed in 1921. It ran through the Beverly/Morgan Park community on what is now Western Avenue. 

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