Glacier to Gulf -- Billings MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 45° 46.897 W 108° 30.237
12T E 694032 N 5072814
Quick Description: A 1920s Glacier to Gulf highway ghost sign on the northeast corner of the Oliver Building in downtown Billings MT.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 1/27/2014 8:20:34 AM
Waymark Code: WMK116
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GT.US
Views: 3

Long Description:
The Glacier to Gulf highway (roughly the modern US 87) was conceived of in the late 19-teens to bring tourists north in summer to the Northern State's national parks, and south in the winter to warmer vacation destinations. It stretched from Glacier National Park to the Texas Gulf Coast at Brownsville.

Today's US 87 follows much of this old auto route, beginning north of Billings MT, travelling through Denver CO and San Antonio TX, before ending at the Gulf of Mexico in Port Lavaca TX.

The 1920s Glacier to Gulf highway branched at San Antonio. One branch started in San Antonio and headed to Victoria along modern US 87, turned east at Victoria and followed the route of the modern US 59 to Houston, then along the modern I-10 to Channelview (home of the San Jacinto Battlefield), before turning south on State Hwy 3 (the Old Galveston Road) to Galveston.

The second branch went from San Antonio to Floresville, Beeville, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Raymondville, Harlingen, Brownsville and into Mexico at Matamoros to Tampico. The San Antonio to Corpus Christi leg followed the modern US 181 to Corpus Christi, where the route turns due west along modern State Hwy 44, then due south along US 77 to Brownsville.

From the Victoria Advocate, 19 Jan 1923, a fascinating, if badly-written, newspaper story, which, if all the extraneous clauses, and resulting commas, in the sentences, was not bad enough, for you, at the end comes a superfluous dash of racism and cultural insensitivity: (visit link)

(San Antonio Express)

The San Antonio-Cuero highway through Lavernia, Sutherland Springs, Stockdale, Nixon, Westhoff to Cuero, Victoria, and Port O’Connor was approved for State and Federal aid and placed on the 7% list of Texas highways to receive aid by the State Highway Department, at the present session of the commissioners at Austin Tuesday, following awakened interest in this much0-needed road after citizens committees from the towns along the highway had assured the commissioners of their earnest desire for a standard roadway to be built.

Immediately following designation by the Highway Department of this road for State and Federal aid, the Executive Committee of the Glacier to Gulf Highway in session in San Antonio Wednesday designated this highway from San Antonio to Victoria as a main line of this system connecting National parks of the Northwest, starting at Glacier National Park in Montana, through that state, Wyoming, Colorado, into Texas to San Antonio, Cuero, Victoria, Houston, and Galveston.

The Glacier to Gulf highway has branches at San Antonio, one part of the National Park system going via Cuero, Victoria to Houston and Galveston while the other branch goes southward via Floresville, Beeville, Corpus Christi, Kingsville, Raymondville, Harlingen, Brownsville into Mexico at Matamoros to Tampico.

Beginning in Glacier National Park in Montana, the Glacier to Gulf highway connects the principal National parks for which the Northwestern part of the United states is noted, drawing many thousands of tourists over this highway each year; it touches, Billings, Montana; Great Falls; Yellowstone National Park; Cody, Casper and Cheyenne Wyo.; Rocky Mountain National Park, Denver; Colorado Springs, Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods in Colorado; entering Texas through Texline, and continuing through Amarillo, Plainview, San Angelo, Brady, Mason, Junction, where a state park is in process of being established, Kerrville, Boerne, and into San Antonio, where the main executive office has been located.

Austin North, of Billings, Montana, and San Antonio, is president of the highway; Harry L. Miller, San Antonio, secretary and treasurer, and D. B. Colp, the best known good roads man in the state, is manager, with offices on the mezzanine floor of the St. Anthony Hotel, where a road information Bureau is maintained.

This highway, when completed, will give tourists and motorists a direct hard surfaced roadway from the cold Northwest, and from the many National parks in that section, a direct line to San Antonio, the “winter playground of America,” and to proposed state parks at Junction, Frio Canyon, Sutherland Springs, Ross Palmer Park at Brownsville and the Republic of Mexico.

San Antonio and South West Texas is rapidly coming into their own as winter playgrounds and tourists are walking in this direction in greater numbers each year. With the new state parks to be established, probably why the present legislature now in session, this highway will bring new travel from the Northwest into San Antonio. Heretofore, a majority of this travel has been Westward.

Signposting of the Glacier to Gulf highway has been started at San Antonio under the direction of Capt. George J Head and will be continued until the entire Texas line has been completed and thoroughly marked.

Senators John Bailey of Cuero and P. H. Ridgway of San Antonio; Representatives Sam C. Lackey of Cuero, J. C. Wilson of Gonzalez, Sam Houston of Floresville and .W. A. Williamson of San Antonio also appeared before the highway commissioners at Austin Tuesday on the behalf of state and federal aid and designation of the highway from Cuero to San Antonio.

With state and national parks established, in the near future, at proposed sites in the Davis Mountains at Junction, Sutherland Springs, Victoria and Rawls Hall Grove at Brownsville, the Glacier to Gulf highway will prove the National Park highway of America, with state parks already established at Houston, where the San Jacinto Battleground marks the scene where Texas won her independence, and at Gonzalez where a beautiful park borders the Guadalupe River.

The Glacier to Gulf highway will also touch other historical and beauty spots of Texas and the nation. From the palm groves of the Gulf shore near Brownsville, the highway passes the Alamo, cradle of Texas liberty, and the missions, through western Texas where the wily red man's strongholds stood for a season the advance of civilization in the State, through a wonderland of natural scenic beauty, and at last through magnificent Wind River Canyon where a tunnel is now being driven through a mountain solid granite, through which this highway will pass. Workmen on this tunnel, working from both sides of the granite mountain, met in the center this week and established communications through the hole. Work will be pushed rapidly until it is completed, enlarged and paved throughout, thus saving traffic from the Northwest to Texas many miles of travel."

Blasterz are Texans, and had no idea that a ghost auto route sign from the 1920s in Montana would connect so strongly with our home state, and all the parks we have enjoyed so much over the years!
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Benchmark Blasterz visited Glacier to Gulf -- Billings MT 8/6/2013 Benchmark Blasterz visited it