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West Michigan Pike
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Historic Markers
N 41° 48.014 W 086° 44.833
16T E 521000 N 4627628
Quick Description: There is a fee parking lot right next to it. Not very many options.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 9/29/2014 5:36:31 PM
Waymark Code: WMMJTJ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 1

Long Description:
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 grew up 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 one of the first state trunk lines (M-11) in 1917, as part of the Dixie Highway in 1923, and incorporated into the nations 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.

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 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 lodgings, restaurants, and attractions grew up along the West Michigan Pike and flourished into the twenty-first century.
Parking nearby?: yes

D/T ratings:

Registered Site #: S0718

Historical Date: Not listed

Historical Name: Not listed

Description: Not listed

website: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Take a photo of your GPS at the marker. We'd prefer a photo of you with your GPS, but we realize that sometimes that's just not possible or preferable. Also include a bit about your visit to the marker.

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Historic Markers visited West Michigan Pike 9/30/2014 Historic Markers visited it
Leader1 visited West Michigan Pike 10/12/2012 Leader1 visited it

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