Archives and Special Collections recently received the 1920 edition of the Official Automobile Blue Book. This is a great resource for anyone interested in the history of roads because it gives a description of the automobile routes in our area before the Good Roads Movement.
The book includes a general index map of routes described in the book and a detail description of these routes. Some of the details are:
Which route description to read if you are doing the route in reverse.
What principle towns you travel through on this route.
What are the condition of the roads, including if the road is dirt or gravel and whether to avoid the route in wet weather.
Gives you total mileage and mileages between points.
Warns you of danger points, such as bad hills, sharp turns, and railroad grade crossings.
Tells you where good, reliable hotels and garages can be found along the route.
What are the points of interest?
Some city maps are included.
In the 1920s and before, many roads in the United States received names. Some of the major names mentioned in the book are the Custer Battlefield Hiway, the Yellowstone Trail, and the Black and Yellow Trail. After the 1920’s, the United States and many of the states developed a numbering system for roads.
Full title of the book is Official Automobile Blue Book, volume 10, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, with extension routes into Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Utah, Idaho and Washington, 1920 edition.