Once the US Interstate system began to take a real foothold in the late 50’s and early 60’s, US routes that were previously used to traverse the country were at risk of being bypassed or destroyed by the new right of ways. This left many towns and businesses struggling to survive as roads that were once primary routes of travel saw fewer and fewer travelers.
In recent years it seems there has been an increased interest in finding what remains of the pre-Interstate routes in an effort to reconnect with our country’s travel history. A few months ago, I had the good fortune of purchasing two 1957 Rand McNally US Road atlases on ebay.com. For me, this was like finding a treasure as I had been looking for a ’57 road atlas for a while. The ’57 atlases were the last atlases that featured our highway infrastructure prior to the Interstate System. Frankly, the atlases are a treat to behold and I’m looking forward to using them regularly in my future trips, as I look for some of the old roads to incorporate into my journeys.
I was excited to find a map of the 1955 US Highway System (click this link for full size map) on the Internet just this evening and thought readers of BackroadTraveler.net might be interested in possibly referencing the map in their own search of the old roads. If you are curious about the old roads, I trust you will find the map very interesting.