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JIM: As today, improved transportation was issue 100 years ago
Today the focus is on the Heartland Parkway, safer bridges, traversible country lanes, pathways for tourists, and highway safety, and transportation continues to be a key economic development issue. One hundred years ago it was on just being able from one point to another in one piece. Jim takes readers back to the issue as it stood in Crocus-to-Montpelier section of Adair and Russell Counties
The following paragraphs, found in the Crocus newsletter published in the February 25, 1914 News, give a glimpse of the condition of some of the roads of that era -- and why News editor C.S. Harris fought so long and hard for improved transportation in Adair County.
George Helm's shop (he was a blacksmith) stood not far removed from the "T" intersection formed by modern day Hwy 92 and Rte 619. At that time, the Jamestown-Montpelier Road ran a bit farther north at that point than does today's Hwy 92.
Wrote the Crocus correspondent:
"A new country road is being opened between this place and Montpelier, along the line of the old neighborhood road leading from a point near Zion church to a point on Jamestown road, near Geo. Helm's shop. "This bids fair to be a first-class highway, quite a contrast to the old one, which was only ever traversed by a few of the bravest of persons, owing to the danger from falling over the precipices or being crushed between the boulders."Note for those starting in Columbia - Modern day travelers who want pack a lunch for a "Pickle Dog Picnic" and see and record sights mentioned. (Epicurean Kentuckian: A more perfect, Pickle-Dog centric, meal) and travel the roads, can sedately motor down 55 and hang a right onto 1313 to Crocus, to Crocus, then retrace the trek as far 55, crossing that highway to the Al Sullivan Road (Note: Google Maps says the road is "Al Sullivan Road," but the County Marker is "Turner Trail," which Adair County Addressing & Mapping Coordinator Zach Mann confirms is the official designation. - CM) (which becomes Cabin Fork Creek Road), crossing said creek before turning left onto Hwy 619, which in turn will take you to Rte 92, about 2/3rds of a mile east of downtown Montpelier. The trip from Crocus to Montpelier is a little under 5 miles. Thence, motor west on Montpelier Road to Highway 55 S Road at Zion, and hang a right to return to Columbia.
Subnote: Jim warns that if one overshoots 619 and finds themselves sailing across onto V. Blakey Road, "Don't panic," he says, "as that's a mighty short road. It leads to the most bucolic of scenes."
This story was posted on 2016-04-08 08:17:07
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