Jefferson Highway


Since 1926, the highway running north and south past this site has been U.S. 65, but it was first known as the Interstate Trail (1911-1915) and next as the Jefferson Highway (1915-1926). The Jefferson Highway ran from Winnipeg to New Orleans, at first by way of Oklahoma and Texas but later on a more direct route through Arkansas. It was a major north-south highway traversing the central part of the United States, serving much of the corridor followed today by I-35.

From 1921 until 1938, the highway turned west at this intersection and coincided with the Lincoln Highway (later, U.S. 30) to Ames, fifteen miles to the west. The curved ramp connecting the highways here has a matching ramp that cuts through the farm yard on the east side of U.S. 65. The ramps were constructed in 1930, when paving of the highways at this intersection was completed.

This concrete Jefferson Highway marker lay in the farm yard across the highway for many decades but once stood next to the farm along the highway, its arrow pointing north. A matching marker has also recently been found on a nearby farm.
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