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Castle Rock in Douglas County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Good Roads in Colorado / The Great North-South Highway

 
 
Good Roads in Colorado Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, July 3, 2011
1. Good Roads in Colorado Marker
Inscription.  Even before people began driving automobiles in Colorado, they clamored for good roads. In the late 1880s men, women, and children of all backgrounds jumped on breezy bicycles known as “velocipedes” or “Wheels” but cursed the roads-rutted, unmarked, and riddled with potholes. Bicyclists started the Good Roads movement to demand that elected officials make improved roads a priority. The first car clattered into Colorado in the 1890s. As the costs of automobiles decreased, more Coloradoans bought them, and readily adapted to the independence, freedom, and flexibility that cars promised. If only the roads could hold up the promise. In 1910 the Colorado Highway Commission began the daunting task of creating a coordinated, statewide road network. In 1912, the governor of Colorado declared the second Friday of May “Good Roads Day” to teach children that “Good roads make good communities, and good communities make great states.” The Great North-South Highway
Good roads meant good business, and in the early 1910s residents of Douglas County eagerly anticipated the completion of a new primary
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road, paid for the most part by state funds. Engineers from the State Highway Department designed a trunk highway, which they called the “Great North-South Highway,” to connect all of the cities along the Front Range from Wyoming to New Mexico. Following a centuries-old transportation corridor (in this vicinity, U.S. Highway 85), the North-South Highway was the state’s most important route until the construction of Interstate 25 in the late 1950s. Most of the east-west roads connected to it, and the route between Denver and Colorado Springs, passing through Castle Rock, had the state’s highest amount of daily traffic. Designated State Highway No. 1, the road received numerous upgrades and improvements. In 1928, the State Highway Department claimed that the 73-mile section between Denver and Colorado Springs was the fourth longest stretch of unbroken cement pavement in the world.

Captions:
Bicycle clubs throughout Colorado lobbied for road improvements, organized social rides, and developed bicycle routes. These bicyclists on the Denver-Palmer Lake Bicycle Path might have ridden a century, or one hundred miles, if they made the round trip between the two towns. The path consisted of a ten-foot-wide corridor that followed the cottonwood-lined City Ditch between Denver and Littleton and traversed pastoral farms and ranches in Douglas County. But the path infuriated

Bicycles image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, July 3, 2011
2. Bicycles
some property owners. One farmer, angry with day-trippers who “molested his melon patch and orchard,” strung barbed wire across his section to snare unsuspecting riders. Photo courtesy Colorado Historical Society.

On August 9, 1928, 2,999 spectators cheered at the dedication of the new cement-paved highway between Denver and Colorado Springs. The celebration included floats, a parade of 1,200 automobiles, and speeches from local dignitaries. In Palmer Lake, festivities included burning the effigy of “Dusty Roads,” while six airplanes soared overhead to mark the occasion.
Photo courtesy Colorado Historical Society.

Motorists stop near Franktown, 1900-1910.
Photo courtesy Denver Public Library.

“The road to Greenland and Larkspur is a disgrace to the county...It is boggy and poor, and (too) close to the railroad. Let up rise up and fight for our rights.” Douglas county Record, 1904.
Colorado Historical Society
 
Erected by Colorado Historical Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical year for this entry is 1910.
 
Location. 39° 22.347′ N, 104° 51.61′ W. Marker is in Castle Rock, Colorado, in Douglas County. Marker is on Wilcox Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map

Early Colorado Automobiles image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, July 3, 2011
3. Early Colorado Automobiles
. Marker is at or near this postal address: 308 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock CO 80104, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Rock / Gray Gold (here, next to this marker); Keystone Hotel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); City Hotel (about 600 feet away); Victoria’s House (about 700 feet away); Denver & Rio Grande Railroad Depot (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rock Park (approx. 0.6 miles away); Founders Village (approx. 2˝ miles away); Franktown (approx. 5.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Castle Rock.
 
Additional keywords. Good Roads in Colorado / The Great North-South Highway
 
1928 Celebration image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Charles T. Harrell, July 3, 2011
4. 1928 Celebration
Good Roads in Colorado Marker looking northwest. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, July 1, 2017
5. Good Roads in Colorado Marker looking northwest.
View from marker towards intersection of Wilcox & Third Street. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Mark Hilton, July 1, 2017
6. View from marker towards intersection of Wilcox & Third Street.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 25, 2018. It was originally submitted on August 14, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,054 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 14, 2011, by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia.   5, 6. submitted on July 1, 2017, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 17, 2024