“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Forney in Kaufman County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Dixie Overland Highway

(U.S. Highway 80)

Dixie Overland Highway Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rheba Bybee, June 26, 2016
1. Dixie Overland Highway Marker
(U. S. Highway 80)
Inscription. In the early 20th century, soon after the development of the automobile, travelers, city officials and others began planning for a network of paved overland routes. In the era before the advent of the interstate highway system, road associations provided the vision and the promotion, and states and municipalities provided necessary capital. Early results were piecemeal and inconsistent, but the Good Roads Movement, the National Highway Association and similar organizations continued efforts to improve routes on a national scale. In 1914, the Automobile Club of Savannah, Georgia, proposed an "all-seasons" route stretching from its home base to Los Angeles. Interested towns and parties formed the Dixie Overland Highway Association (DOHA), with offices in Columbus, Georgia. The route, which passed through 75 U.S. counties, including Kaufman, was partially opened by the 1920s, with the western terminus later changed to San Diego.

Along the route, travelers met significant obstacles, including what was known as the Forney Gap. Forney's portion of the road entered the city east of Mustang Creek and crossed through town, past the service stations and other businesses that opened to serve travelers. On the west side of town, as the landscape slopes downward to the floodplain of the East Fork of the Trinity River, the paved road stopped, leaving a slippery, muddy hill and a frequently flooded roadway. Despite such obstacles, DOHA's president, in a publicity stunt, made the length of the highway in record time in October 1926, traveling from San Diego to Savannah in just over 71 hours. Two months later, much of the highway became U.S. Highway 80. Its role as a primary interstate route was later superseded by Interstate 20.
Marker is property of the State of Texas

Erected 2005 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13299.)
Location. 32° 44.876′ N, 96° 28.329′ W. Marker is in Forney, Texas, in Kaufman County. Marker is at the intersection of South Bois d'Arc Street and West Main Street, on the right when traveling south on South Bois d'Arc Street. Click for map. In front of Spellman Museum of Forney History. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 S Bois D Arc St, Forney TX 75126, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Forney (within shouting distance of this marker); 1899 Automobile Trip (within shouting distance of this marker); Walter Dickson Adams and the Adams Drugstore (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dick P. Moore House (about 300 feet away); William Madison McDonald (about 400 feet away); The Forney Messenger (about 700 feet away); McKellar House (approx. mile away); William and Blanche Brooks House (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Forney.
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Rheba Bybee of Seagoville, Texas. This page has been viewed 61 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on , by Rheba Bybee of Seagoville, Texas. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on July 14, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Wide shot of marker and its surroundings. • Can you help?
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