Grand River Avenue (Images of America)
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Grand River Avenue, or Michigan US-16 as it was ultimately designated, is one of Michigans true Blue Highwaysan original two-lane, blacktop road still serving as a direct path through roadside America. Originally a Native American trail, this ancient path has been a westbound route from the Straits of Detroit to the eastern shores of Lake Michigan for more than 1,000 years. Over time, it has served as a footpath, horse trail, wagon rut, stagecoach route, plank road, and ultimately a two-lane highway that gave some of Americas earliest motorists their first taste of long-distance automobile travel.
Across the Continent on US 16. While Michigan’s stretch of US 16, generally known as Grand River, ends in Muskegon, US 16 continues along an imaginary line (center of map below) traveled by the many ships that have transported passengers and vehicles across Lake Michigan for more than a century. At Milwaukee, US 16 once again becomes a solid road, and ultimately runs across the Great Plains to Yellowstone National Park. The map below, from a 1940s promotional travel brochure, at right, was
stomping grounds, and even your favorite sports team. Consistent with our mission to preserve history on a local level, this book was printed in South Carolina on American-made paper and manufactured entirely in the United States. Products carrying the accredited Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label are printed on 100 percent FSC-certified paper. MADE IN THE
Trail, and the Orchard Lake Trail. All of these trails are the foundations of routes that eventually became major modern roadways. While a modified version of the Grand River Trail eventually became a major stagecoach route in the 19th century, the highway known as US 16 was not created until the automobile age. In the photograph above, work crews near Portland use horse-drawn equipment to dig, widen, and grade the pathway that would soon become US 16. While the newly evolving highway and the old
paved by 1929. Along with being first in line to receive improved road surfaces, Grand River also presented a perfect test environment for emerging innovations in traffic management and safety. The bizarre whitewashed, concrete traffic light tower below was photographed in 1928. It stood in the middle of Grand River at American Avenue, an intersection no longer extant due to the construction of the Jeffries Freeway (Interstate 96). 14 Suburban Connections. Grand River figured prominently in
publication. He and his family are proud owners of Bluefrog Books, at 615 East Grand River Avenue in Howell. Support independent bookstores! Unless otherwise noted, all photographs included in this book are courtesy of the David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography in the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, which is an amazing collection. 6 Introduction I frequently stare at a magnet on my refrigerator. It is a quote from Hans Christian Andersen’s