The Jefferson Highway map is finished!
If you desire to drive all or any part of the Jefferson Highway the link to the map is shown below.
The map can be viewed from any computer by clicking on the links below, however, it is primarily designed to allow you to follow the route of the Jefferson Highway as you are driving. The easiest way to do that is with a cell phone or a tablet like an iPad or Galaxy. Just click on the link from your phone/tablet and the map will come up. When it appears, click the small black bullseye in the corner of your screen. That will show your vehicle as a blue dot. Assuming you are on or near to the route, you will see the blue dot and the green map route. Then just follow the route and it will take you all the way to Winnipeg or New Orleans, depending on your direction. Sorry, but this is just a visual aid; no turn-by-turn voice instructions.
Some basic information about the map:
- The original Jefferson Highway Association came into existence in 1915, and the first route was laid out the following year. The Jefferson Highway, like all of the other named routes of that time period, was replaced by the U.S. Highway System which came into being in November of 1926. The focus of this map is primarily on the Jefferson Highway during the 1916-1926 period.
- The purpose of the map, for the most part, is to identify the various routes so people who choose to can drive them. Since many original segments no longer exist or are no longer drivable, there are sections of my map that aren’t actually part of the original JH. It’s simply one of the trade-offs for being able to drive the highway. In some sections I do call out old parts of the road, and I’m sure there are hundreds of others that can eventually be added.
- Most of the route is paved and in good condition, but be warned: there are sections of the original roadway that are dirt or gravel. There is almost always a better road nearby, so if you are less adventurous you can hop off of the bad sections of the Jefferson Highway and jump back on when you so desire.
- Early highways were notorious for changing their routes, and the Jefferson Highway is no exception. Sometimes the changes were along different streets within a single town, different routes between towns, or even different routes through different cities altogether. In some cases I have included multiple routes, in others I may have selected a single route. Generally speaking, the routes I have included tend to be from the 1918-1919 timeframe, though they are often identical to later routes. I will go back and add other routings as time permits and as I become aware of them.
- If you would like to provide me with additional information about route alternatives or would like to correct errors I have made, I encourage you to do so. I just have two rules about offering up corrections: 1) play nice…there is no need to be rude when pointing out my mistakes, and 2) cite your sources. If your source is an article in your town’s weekly newspaper (or from word of mouth) it will carry less weight than if you tell me it came from a specific map or trip guide, or even your local paper from the 1920s. I have a lot of maps and tour books from that era that I have drawn from – Automobile Blue Books, Scarborough Green Books, Rand McNally and Clason atlases, AAA maps, etc. – as well as some Jefferson Highway Association resources. Even with all of that there are conflicting routes and gaps in information. Sometimes (often) I just made my best guess. Additional clarification or confirmation is always welcome.
- The best resource for information about the highway is at the web site of the modern Jefferson Highway Association. You will find lots of good information there, and I highly recommend you become a member of the association.