Which Came first--The Road or the Car

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Which Came first--The Road or the Car

Post  bluebird on Sat Aug 08, 2009 9:05 am

For the automobile to become an accepted measure of travel, it was necessary to have roads become hard surfaced and wide enough for two vehicles to pass on each side. Road building in Oklahoma began in earnest in the 1920s with many state highways being paved. Route 66 became famous as a cross-country highway. However, United States Highway 77 is important to Newkirk, as it is Newkirk’s Main Street.

The route of U.S. 77 emerged prior to statehood. Perhaps a trail made by Native American bison hunters or traders provided the first trace of this overland artery. In 1884, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad laid tracks across the prairies and plains of north central Oklahoma, paralleling the right-of-way that became U.S. 77. No doubt non-Indian travelers and settlers followed the path alongside the tracks, creating an easily identified trail. In 1912, the creation of the Interstate Postal Highway from Winnipeg, Ontario, to Galveston, Texas, included this dirt track through Newkirk to Ponca City, and south to Oklahoma City.Written by Dr.William Corbett for the Winfield Courier newspaper August 7,2009 bluebird study

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