Oakland Township Historical Society December Program
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
6:30 pm PCUMC
Parking available next to the church in the Dentist’s office.
Bring a dish to pass for the potluck – Christmas goodies and appetizers welcome!
“The Good Roads Movement in Michigan” by Jim Craft
Annual December Potluck and Program
In 1890 the United States had, perhaps, the worst road system of any developed country in the world. Impassable three or four months a year due to muddy conditions, the balance of the year roads in America were dusty, rutted and disjointed serving only very local functions. By the mid 1920’s the United States had developed a well-funded system that integrated local, state and Federal governments to create the massive road network we take for granted today. While the story is national in scope, the presentation will focus on Michigan to answer three key questions: Why were roads in America so bad in 1890? What caused the change? What were the principle steps that were taken to relate an effective road system in America and Michigan?
Along the way, we will discuss the importance of the bicycle, the Model T and the Liberty truck. Among other things we will explain why Van Dyke is named the Earle Memorial Highway, the origins of the Dixie Highway and the central, though often negative, role American farmers played in the Good Roads Movement.
Jim Craft is on the board of the Oakland County Historical Commission and retired history teacher.
The OTHS Board of Directors has cancelled in person meetings. The meeting schedule for the upcoming months will be announced later in the year as Covid-19 developments are evaluated. Please take care of yourself and stay safe.
OTHS Board of Directors