Skip to main content
Visit our new News website at
Friday, October 26, 2012 - 11:32am

Old Dixie Highway Remnants Wanted

State and federal highway officials are asking Georgians for their insights and stories about Georgia's Old Dixie Highway.

They're teaming up with the Georgia Historical Society to study the old north-south road network.

Business groups started planning the Old Dixie Highway in 1914.

It eventually ran through Georgia linking Michigan to Florida.

For the road's upcoming centennial, historians are collecting memorabilia, photos and accounts of the road that transformed the South through tourism.

Madeline White of Georgia's Department of Transportation says highway planners want to know where the old road still exists.

"There are some sections that still maintain a historic profile and that still have a historic setting," White says. "Those are the sections that we want to know where they are."

Archaeologist Matt Tankersley of project consultant New South Associates says the nation's first north-south auto route moved around a lot but parts of it still exist.

"Our mapping research concentrates on identifying potential roadways that maybe got new alignments shifted away from old roads," Tankersley says. "We're trying to find those pieces of the physical remnants of the Dixie Highway because a lot of it has been improved."

Todd Groce of the Georgia Historical Society says the Savannah-based organization is acting as the repository for the collection.

"What's fascinating for us to be able to look back on now is to see how that early road network stimulated the economy in Georgia," says Groce. "It created an economy that was based on tourism -- and particularly on auto-tourism which was brand new at that time."

Georgians with items to share are asked to contact the Georgia Historical Society.