West Michigan Pike

West Michigan Pike (HM15CG)

Location: New Buffalo, MI 49117 Berrien County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 47.973', W 86° 44.862'

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Inscription
(side 1)
At the turn of the twentieth century, deep ruts and sand made West Michigan roads nearly impassable. In 1911 the West Michigan Lakeshore Highway Association was founded to promote the construction of the first improved highway along Lake Michigan in order to bring auto tourists from Chicago to Michigan to support the new resort industry that developed when logging ended in the region. Completed in 1922, the West Michigan Pike extended from the Indiana state line to Mackinaw City. It was designated on of the first state trunk lines (M-11) in 1917, as part of the Dixie Highway in 1923, and incorporated into the nation's first federal highway system as US-31 in 1926. Straightened and realigned over the years, it is also known as the Red Arrow and the Blue Star Memorial Highways.

(side 2)
The West Michigan Pike, advertised as "Lake Shore All the Way Chicago to Mackinaw," was completed as a paved highway in 1922. Tourists, particularly those from Chicago who sought cooler temperatures by coming to Michigan, gained greater access to communities dotting the Lake Michigan shore between the Indiana state line and the Straits of Mackinac. In 1926 the pike (M-11), was designated US-31. By then, traffic congestion and poor road conditions were once again impeding travel. The West Michigan Pike Association, which had started the road, advocated for US-31 to be widened and rerouted in 1929 as a "superhighway." A full-blown tourism industry with lodging, restaurants, and attractions grew up along the West Michigan Pike and flourished into the twenty-first century.
Details
HM NumberHM15CG
Series This marker is part of the Michigan: Michigan Historical Commission series
Tags
Marker Number718
Year Placed2009
Placed ByMichigan Historical Commission-Michigan Historical Center
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 7:46pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 520960 N 4627551
Decimal Degrees41.79955000, -86.74770000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 47.973', W 86° 44.862'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 47' 58.38" N, 86° 44' 51.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)269
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 408-598 N Whittaker St, New Buffalo MI 49117, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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