Monday, April 25, 2005

"Lee Highway" -- U.S. Highway 11

Old U.S. Highway 11, running from Rouse's Point, NY to New Orleans, LA, holds special charm for me and readers will just have to indulge my blogging on it. For one thing, Highway 11's nickname is "Lee Highway," and that has a special appeal for a Southern boy. In addition, I often travel Highway 11's route on my way to visit family in Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. For a little ways, I'm traveling the same route as my ancestors, who migrated down the Great Valley from Philadelphia with many other Scots-Irish in the 1700's.

Of course, these days I drive the fast new modern interstates South, but the journey brings back many, many memories of family vacations and trips made along old Highway 11. That was in the days of the postcard below -- see any interstates?

U.S. Highway 11 --"Lee Highway" -- down the Great Valley of Virginia. Posted by Hello

No. No interstates. But I'd have loved to have been around even earlier to travel with W.O.L Westgard (front seat, left) and Dr. S.M. Johnson (rear seat, in light suit), seen in the photo below in 1913 on a stretch of Lee Highway. Westgard was referred to as "the Great Pathfinder of the early 20th century, who represented the AAA in logging the Southern National Highway." Yeah, I still hear some NOVA's refer to SW Virginia as the great unknown.

But since they didn't have cell phones, what did they do if they broke down?  Posted by Hello

Today, you can't pick up a blog without reading about traffic congestion in Northern Virginia. It wasn't always that way.

Between Fairfax and Falls Church Posted by Hello

You gotta wonder what neighborhoods or stores now occupy the stretch of Lee Highway above. And you gotta wonder what Front Royal is going to look like in 2105.