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Dixie Highway

The Dixie Highway was a United States automobile highway first planned in 1914, to connect the US Midwest with the US South. The final result is better understood as a small network of interconnected paved roads, rather than a 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 prime booster of the idea was promoter and businessman Carl G. Fisher. It was overseen by the Dixie Highway Association, and funded by a group of individuals, businesses, local, and state governments. In the early years the US 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 United States highway system, with some portions becoming state roads.

The route of the Dixie Highway was marked by a red stripe with the letters "DH" on it, usually with a white stripe above and below. This was commonly painted on telephone and telegraph poles along the route.


The Dixie Highway had two main routes, both starting in Miami, Florida in the south.

The eastern route parallelled the Atlantic Ocean north to Savannah, Georgia, then went inland through Augusta, Georgia, Greenville, South Carolina and Knoxville, Tennessee, north through Lexington, Kentucky Toledo, Ohio, and on on to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, with an extension into Ontario, Canada.

The western route went inland through Orlando and Tallahassee, Florida, north through Atlanta, Georgia, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Indianapolis, Indiana to Chicago, Illinois.

The Dixie Highway also included a number of roads connecting the two branches, and numerous spurs.

By 1925 the Dixie Highway system had 5,786 miles of paved roads. In places it incorporated older local and county paved roads.

Dixie Highway in St. Johns County, Florida
This section was previously part of the older "John Anderson Highway"

In rural areas, the paved portion was often just a single lane; when two vehicles needed to pass eachother one or both needed to pull partway onto the road's sholder.

Much of the southern portion of the highway was paved with brick from Alabama.

The Dixie Highway After the Introduction of the New Federal Highway System

The western route Dixie Highway mostly became United States Highway 27. In the late 20th century route would be largely paralleled and in some sections replaced by Interstate 75, which starts in Miami, Florida and ends in Saut Ste Marie. Michigan.

The eastern portion from Jacksonville, Florida south was largely replaced with United States Highway 1.

The name "Dixie Highway" persists in various locations along its route where the main flow of long-distance traffic has been rerouted to more modern highways and the old Dixie Highway persists as a local road.

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