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Robert E. Lee / Dixie Highway Monuments


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#1 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hi Everyone,

I have been taking pictures of the various Robert E. Lee / Dixie Highway monuments placed along the highway by the Daughters of the Confederacy in the 1920s and at least in one case, in the 1930s. It got me wondering whether there are still more out there that I haven't identified yet. These are the ones I know about:

North Carolina

1. Near Hot Springs at the NC/TN border on US 25.

2. Hot Springs, NC on US 25.

3. Marshall, NC on Main Street in front of the county courthouse.

4. Asheville, NC in Pack Square in front of the Vance monument.

5. Fletcher, NC on US 25 in front of the Calvary Episcopal Church.

6. Hendersonville, NC on Business 25 (Church Street) behind the historic courthouse. (This one was moved from Main Street in front of the courthouse in 2008)

7. Near Tuxedo, NC at the NC/SC border.

8. Greenville, SC on N Main Street at Elford Street.

Ohio

9. Franklin, OH at the intersection of the Old Dixie Highway and Hamilton-Middletown Road.

Florida

10. Bradfordville, FL on Highway 319, just south of the Georgia border.

Any others that you know of that I'm missing? I have pictures of the close ones except for #1, #3 and #8 so we might get those this weekend. I just don't want to drive all the way to #9 or #10 and find I passed others along the way. Posted Image


Mike

#2 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 08:29 PM

Mike,

How did you find all of these.....by guess and by golly?...that is by "I see one!"

I have followed short sections of the Dixie, but only in Florida, and then just a dirt section or two. I know of a Robert E Lee stone with brass plaque in Northern California, placed by the Daughters of the Confederacy, but I'm pretty sure it isn't on the Dixie! :blink:

I suppose you have checked the modern web. How about Google's book archives?

Dave

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Note: Opps, that California monument was to Jefferson Davis...MY Bad.

#3 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:02 AM

Mike,

How did you find all of these.....by guess and by golly?...that is by "I see one!"

...

I suppose you have checked the modern web. How about Google's book archives?

Dave

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Hi Dave,

I came across the first one (Hot Springs) online. I drive through that way often, and the funny thing is I have always noticed the monument. I was curious about what it said but could never read it from the road and I never stopped until last time. When I saw this one online it referenced others so I got curious and started searching via Google. I have never seen a list of these 10 all together. I have seen the seven NC monuments referenced and sometimes the eighth one in Greenville, SC is mentioned in the same breath. I visited the Daughters of the Confederacy web site but haven't contacted them directly yet. I may do that next.

If there are any more at all, there may not be many. It was the NC chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy that launched this program with an idea that first came up in 1818. It apparently took them eight years to get the first plaques made and dedicated.

An interesting side note is that there is a Civil War monument database on a NC government website (http://ncmonuments.ncdcr.gov/) that only appears to mention two out of the seven located in the state.

Mike

#4 DennyG

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:19 AM

I've always suspected that an evil wizard lives in Franklin and clouds my mind when I drive through that intersection and this proves it. I must have driven by that marker several times (it's less than 25 miles away!) but don't recall ever seeing it. My most recent and glaring failure would have been in July when I purported to drive all of the DH twixt Vandalia and Cincinnati. I may try again today but I'll be sure to disguise myself and carry my magic staff.

My first discovery of one of these markers was very much a "by golly". It was the one in Marshall, NC, and I had no idea it was there when I stopped. That was in November 2008. My only other documented sighting was in December of the next year at the SC/NC border. That one was clearly not a "by golly". I had definitely targeted the marker but I say nothing about where I learned of it. Whatever the source, it apparently had some sort of inventory because I claim that there are a total of eight and list the others in the Carolinas. The source may have been Wikipedia since it lists only those eight. Why I didn't seek out any of the others is a another mystery. Maybe there's an evil wizard hanging out in Asheville, too.

If you do contact the UDC (and that seems a good idea) I sure would like to hear what you learn. You might also want to consider updating the Wikipedia article with the two additional markers you're already aware of plus anything interesting you learn from the Daughters.

#5 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:44 AM

Hi Denny,

I must have driven right past the monument in Franklin on my way home from Michigan for Christmas and didn't notice it either. I took pictures of the NC/SC state line marker and the ones in Fletcher and Asheville this past weekend. I have pictures of downtown Marshall in my gallery from December and I completely missed the marker in front of the courthouse. I may drive back there this weekend if the weather is decent, then go on to capture the one at the NC/TN border.

I've read the Wikipedia article on the Dixie Highway, but have never updated anything in Wikipedia as you suggest. What is the process?

Also, I have been meaning to ask you about the route through Cincinnati. After Christmas we were heading south down Vine St. in Cincinnati, trying to get to the Roebling Bridge. We got to Central Parkway where we were forced off of Vine due to one-way traffic, and it was all downhill from there. Where should we have gone at that point? Even looking at Google Maps is unclear because it seems that the only road leading to the bridge is Race Street to Freedom Way, and it appears to be blocked by construction (or was at the time the photo was taken). Any ideas for my next trip through? Posted Image

Mike

#6 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:59 AM

Hi Dave,

I came across the first one (Hot Springs) online. I drive through that way often, and the funny thing is I have always noticed the monument. I was curious about what it said but could never read it from the road and I never stopped until last time. When I saw this one online it referenced others so I got curious and started searching via Google. I have never seen a list of these 10 all together. I have seen the seven NC monuments referenced and sometimes the eighth one in Greenville, SC is mentioned in the same breath. I visited the Daughters of the Confederacy web site but haven't contacted them directly yet. I may do that next.

If there are any more at all, there may not be many. It was the NC chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy that launched this program with an idea that first came up in 1818. It apparently took them eight years to get the first plaques made and dedicated.

An interesting side note is that there is a Civil War monument database on a NC government website (http://ncmonuments.ncdcr.gov/) that only appears to mention two out of the seven located in the state.

Mike


Mike,

Thanks for the informative reply!! I also note you awakened Denny's interest. The General would have been proud! B)

Dave

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#7 DennyG

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 01:06 PM

I must have driven right past the monument in Franklin on my way home from Michigan...

Not necessarily. There were two DH alignments south of Franklin. I'm not sure which is the oldest. If you were following OH-4/OH-73, you would have swung west just before reaching the marker. Of course, if you went directly south on the Cincinnati-Dayton Road alignment (which is actually called Dixie in spots), you have no excuse (except for the evil wizard thing). In looking at maps just now, I'm thinking that even the western DH might have originally passed the marker by turning west on Hamilton-Middletown Road rather than today's OH-73.

My excuse, at least for the July pass, is that I drove that stretch northbound and the marker (as seen on Google Earth) would have been hidden by foliage. Plus my mind was probably still on the monument to the first China Poland Pig where I'd just stopped. It's about a mile and a half south. Foliage, pigs, and wizards together are almost unbeatable.

Franklin is one of those towns that has split traffic onto two one way streets. The northbound route is the one that follows the Dixie so you may have missed a section of the DH and the marvelous murals that make Franklin cool. You have lots of reasons to come back.

I've read the Wikipedia article on the Dixie Highway, but have never updated anything in Wikipedia as you suggest. What is the process?

Apparently you can just edit away with no advance arrangements but I think creating an account and logging in is the proper way of doing things. Look in the upper right corner. The data does have some HTML so you need to either know a little about it or just avoid it. In this case (and in most cases) I think avoiding it is pretty natural. Since nothing that is currently said about the eight Carolina markers is actually wrong, you don't really need to change anything already there. Maybe just add something about the other two markers right after the sentence about "An eighth monument...".

Any ideas for my next trip through?

Find a local guide and buy him a beer. :rolleyes: Actually you were on the right course. Vine Street being one way makes it impossible to precisely drive the DH southbound and construction near the bridge makes it tough, and sometimes impossible to drive it in either direction. First it was building the two stadiums and now it's the Banks Project which is filling up the space between. Access to the bridge isn't really blocked all that often but the various material and equipment sitting around can make it look like it is. This too shall pass or so they say. If you haven't driven the Roebling Bridge you have a really big reason to come back. It's possibly the coolest bridge on the DH and almost certainly the oldest. Construction was interrupted by the Civil War but it has been in service since 1868.

#8 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 07:42 PM

Not necessarily. There were two DH alignments south of Franklin. I'm not sure which is the oldest. If you were following OH-4/OH-73, you would have swung west just before reaching the marker. Of course, if you went directly south on the Cincinnati-Dayton Road alignment (which is actually called Dixie in spots), you have no excuse (except for the evil wizard thing). In looking at maps just now, I'm thinking that even the western DH might have originally passed the marker by turning west on Hamilton-Middletown Road rather than today's OH-73.


We did exactly as you described - we turned on OH-4/OH-73. Posted Image

Franklin is one of those towns that has split traffic onto two one way streets. The northbound route is the one that follows the Dixie so you may have missed a section of the DH and the marvelous murals that make Franklin cool. You have lots of reasons to come back.


We definitely do!

Find a local guide and buy him a beer. :rolleyes: Actually you were on the right course. Vine Street being one way makes it impossible to precisely drive the DH southbound and construction near the bridge makes it tough, and sometimes impossible to drive it in either direction. First it was building the two stadiums and now it's the Banks Project which is filling up the space between. Access to the bridge isn't really blocked all that often but the various material and equipment sitting around can make it look like it is. This too shall pass or so they say. If you haven't driven the Roebling Bridge you have a really big reason to come back. It's possibly the coolest bridge on the DH and almost certainly the oldest. Construction was interrupted by the Civil War but it has been in service since 1868.


I'd love to find that local guy and buy him a beer! We'll make it a point to hit Franklin and Cincinnati when you're in town and you can introduce us to your favorite watering hole. Or better yet, the Montgomery Inn for ribs!

Mike

#9 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 11:41 AM

I heard back from the research librarian at the United Daughters of the Confederacy yesterday. She informed me that she was unable to find a list of all of the monuments, but she is mailing me some articles from their files about the Dixie Highway. I don't know if they reference any of the monuments (currently found or additional ones) or not.

So for now at least, my highly unofficial count is 10 monuments:

NC: NC/TN border, Hot Springs, Marshall, Asheville, Fletcher, Hendersonville and Tuxedo (NC/SC border)

SC: Greenville

FL: Bradfordville

OH: Franklin

Mike

#10 DennyG

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:01 PM

Nice to know that the UDC did respond. The articles could certainly contain some interesting tidbits even if there is nothing about the monuments.

It never stopped raining on the day I threatened to run up to Franklin and now it's snowing. Maybe I'll get there when the spring thaw breaks.

"Montgomery Inn for ribs"? Hey, you're no stranger to these parts after all. And now you've awakened a craving that could just drag me out in the cold.

#11 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:08 PM

I heard back from the research librarian at the United Daughters of the Confederacy yesterday. She informed me that she was unable to find a list of all of the monuments, but she is mailing me some articles from their files about the Dixie Highway. I don't know if they reference any of the monuments (currently found or additional ones) or not.

So for now at least, my highly unofficial count is 10 monuments:

NC: NC/TN border, Hot Springs, Marshall, Asheville, Fletcher, Hendersonville and Tuxedo (NC/SC border)

SC: Greenville

FL: Bradfordville

OH: Franklin

Mike


Mike,

I sort of suspected that you probably knew more about the monuments than the current Daughters of the Confederacy. No criticism of the organization intended there, but they are probably into other things and monuments placed in the 20's tend to drop off the radar....unless they are "rejuvenated."

It might well turn out that they will really appreciate your research, and maybe you will be the spark that gets them to revisit the efforts of their predecessors.

I didn't find anything to add to the list in the Google Archives on a quick search. There were a couple of stories about dedications in old newspapers but you had already identified the sites. None the less, I will keep my eye out.

Dave

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#12 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:39 PM

Nice to know that the UDC did respond. The articles could certainly contain some interesting tidbits even if there is nothing about the monuments.

It never stopped raining on the day I threatened to run up to Franklin and now it's snowing. Maybe I'll get there when the spring thaw breaks.

"Montgomery Inn for ribs"? Hey, you're no stranger to these parts after all. And now you've awakened a craving that could just drag me out in the cold.


It's cold here but no snow yet; not even in the nearby mountains. I thought we might get some last night but it never happened.

The Montgomery Inn is my favorite place anywhere for ribs. I've eaten there 3-4 times in the last six months. That made up for about a 10 year absence. Sharon and I will make it up your way sometime soon and we'll get a chance to meet you face-to-face over the best ribs east of...anywhere!

#13 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 13 January 2012 - 12:43 PM

It might well turn out that they will really appreciate your research, and maybe you will be the spark that gets them to revisit the efforts of their predecessors.

I didn't find anything to add to the list in the Google Archives on a quick search. There were a couple of stories about dedications in old newspapers but you had already identified the sites. None the less, I will keep my eye out.

Dave

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Thanks for taking a look Dave. I'll keep my eyes open for more; it has been fun trying to track them down.

#14 DennyG

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 01:22 AM

While I was thinking about visiting the Franklin monument, I dropped a note to Russell Rein to see if he could help clear up the two alignments for me. His reply was a real "duh" moment since he mentioned Mike Buettner and I recalled that Mike has a very nice article on line about the Dixie Highway in Ohio. That article is here. The report of me taking advantage of it is here.

The monument was right where it was supposed to be and I believe I've now driven fairly accurate modern versions of both Franklin to Cincinnati routes. Once in downtown Cincinnati it's kind of a crap shoot but I'm going to claim having done it right at least once in the past ten years if only by accident.

#15 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 07:17 PM

While I was thinking about visiting the Franklin monument, I dropped a note to Russell Rein to see if he could help clear up the two alignments for me. His reply was a real "duh" moment since he mentioned Mike Buettner and I recalled that Mike has a very nice article on line about the Dixie Highway in Ohio. That article is here. The report of me taking advantage of it is here.

The monument was right where it was supposed to be and I believe I've now driven fairly accurate modern versions of both Franklin to Cincinnati routes. Once in downtown Cincinnati it's kind of a crap shoot but I'm going to claim having done it right at least once in the past ten years if only by accident.


Great writeup of your short trip to the Franklin monument Denny. I don't know Mike but I had come across his very detailed driving directions through Ohio on the Dixie Highway. I printed them out prior to our trip to Michigan, then promptly forgot them.

I managed to get shots of the last two of the seven monuments in North Carolina on Saturday. And it's hard to say for sure, but if the signs are located correctly the monument at the NC/TN border is actually in Tennessee. If it isn't exactly on the border it's within a few feet either way. That leaves Greenville (maybe next weekend), Franklin (maybe in the spring when we can get together) and Bradfordville, FL (who knows?).

There might be at least one more, though it will take a bit of investigation. The librarian for the United Daughters of the Confederacy sent me an article from the January 2011 issue of UDC that references the re-dedication of the Bradfordville monument. In the article written by a member of the Tallahassee, FL chapter of the UDC, she mentions that, "At one time a Dixie Highway marker was located on the Brevard-Volusia County Line, however, that marker is unconfirmed as still in place."

So it's time to confirm it I guess!

Mike

#16 DennyG

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 09:59 AM

Mike Buettner knows a lot about a lot and is a great researcher. Because of him, the Ohio Lincoln Highway League site is a good source for information on other named auto trails (e.g., DH, PPOO, NOTR) and some numbered US routes (e.g., 20, 50) in Ohio. Maybe that wizard who made us miss the Franklin marker is also keeping both of us from remembering the good stuff that is there.

By coincidence, an uncle who spends his winters near Lake Alfred, FL, called last night to invite me down for a stay. I think I'll probably follow through on it and had already started thinking about what Dixie Highway exploring I might be able to do. It looks like the Brevard-Volusia County Line is well within range. I don't want to push in front of you but taking a look has certainly occurred to me.

#17 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 03:51 PM

By coincidence, an uncle who spends his winters near Lake Alfred, FL, called last night to invite me down for a stay. I think I'll probably follow through on it and had already started thinking about what Dixie Highway exploring I might be able to do. It looks like the Brevard-Volusia County Line is well within range. I don't want to push in front of you but taking a look has certainly occurred to me.


As a group I think we can find out a lot more about these roads than we can individually, so I absolutely hope you are able to get down there and check it out. Who knows, maybe by then we'll have a lead on another one.

#18 DennyG

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 09:47 PM

I spoke with my uncle again this evening and plans are forming for my being in Florida next week. I'm guessing that the marker was on the original Dixie Highway which is now called County Line Road/Dixie Way and now "gone back to dirt" according to a note on Robert Droz's site. I don't know whether the current US-1 was ever the DH although it certainly seems possible and I'll take a look there if nothing is found on the older road.

Any additional clues, hints, insights, or hunches?

#19 BlueRidgeMike

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 07:31 AM

I spoke with my uncle again this evening and plans are forming for my being in Florida next week. I'm guessing that the marker was on the original Dixie Highway which is now called County Line Road/Dixie Way and now "gone back to dirt" according to a note on Robert Droz's site. I don't know whether the current US-1 was ever the DH although it certainly seems possible and I'll take a look there if nothing is found on the older road.

Any additional clues, hints, insights, or hunches?


Not really. I used Google to search US-1 at the county border and the only thing I saw was the monument that shows up on the Wikipedia page for the Dixie Highway. I was unaware of the County Line Road/Dixie Way, so I hope you are able to find something there.

Yesterday we drove to Greenville, SC and got a picture of the monument there. I am trying to get a better sense of the route from the NC state line to downtown Greenville. You can still see snippets of the old road running parallel to US-25 in several places, and Old US-25 and Buncombe Road split off of the newer highway in a few places. I'm guessing that these may be remnants of the Dixie Highway, but I'm not sure. I'm also guessing that the highway originally went the direction of US-276 where it crosses US-25, but again, it's just a guess. I am on the lookout for one of the early ALA Automobile Green Books to help me pin down the route more exactly.

Mike

#20 DennyG

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 04:51 PM

I was by the Old DH/county line on Tuesday and did not find a Lee/DH marked. There is a large stone Brevard county over on the current US-1 which may have also been the DH. Possibly more interesting was Dixie Lane which runs east-west about a mile north of the county line. We followed it to its end but I figured it really was somebody's lane but when I looked at DeLorne it was labeled Old US Hwy 1.

I am certainly behind but I did get Tuesday's journal up earlier today. It's here:
http://www.dennygibs...day05/index.htm




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