Day 4: June 22, 2015
Following the Feeder

Comment via blog

Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

This is a look up Jackson Boulevard as I begin my eastward drive on the feeder route.

The start of the organized tour was a few miles further on at the Elkhart County Historical Museum where a parking lot was available.

I had plotted the feeder from the online map but, just a few miles from the start, the newly provided instructions guided us onto this alignment, Old M103, that I hadn't known about. Those instructions, by the way, were excellent.

What was actually the tour's only stop as a full group was at the 1922 Mottville Bridge. The three span concrete camelback replaced a wooden covered bridge whose abutments can still be seen in the river. Wooden steps permit a look at beneath the bridge where water level looks pretty high. A sign contains one panel describing the bridge's importance to transportation and another on its engineering significance.

Numerous roadside attractions included the 57 Burger Barrel Drive-in and 1920 Tasty Nut Shop in White Pigeon and a restored gas station and nice looking theater in Sturgis.

Although it is now signed US-12 and we are driving it today as the Lincoln Highway Detroit Feeder Route, this road has been called many things including the Sauk Trail, the Abe Lincoln Trail, and the Chicago Road. It was extremely important as a path between Detroit and Chicago and the "halfway" this crossroad is named for is the one between those cities. A few miles east of Halfway Road, the old alignment shown in the second picture passes behind the park containing the sign shown in the the third. The park also contains a pump that doesn't work. Bob Dylan can tell you why.

A couple of miles before Bronson, there is an old alignment that I did know about. This one is gravel. I hadn't gone far before I spotted the truck across the road. I slowed down and before long could see that it was parked there and being used to transfer something to or from the barn. As I was considering my options, I realized that a man standing near the truck was waving me forward. He guided me through the grass and when I shouted "Thanks", he answered with a cheery "You're welcome". I was traveling alone at the time so I don't know how many of the group he had to wave around the truck but I hope his good cheer continued.

The Capri Drive-In near Batavia looks like a great place to spend a summer evening.

The Capri Drive-in actually has a Coldwater address and so does The Willows. Several road related items are in the vicinity of the bar and grill. One is a bypassed scrap of pavement at the base of the cemetery. Another is a commemorative plaque placed by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1925. The road itself is notable since the mile or so east of the river was paved to Seedling Mile standards in 1916 and the 1920 bridge is also interesting.

My picture of the Willows includes Steve Rider taking his own picture of it. The two of us then went inside. Steve just wanted to look things over and I sat down at the bar for a beer. When it came time to leave, I was surprised to find Steve still outside in the company of most of the tour group. They had decided to eat lunch here and found seats on the outside deck. That sounded inviting but I wasn't the least bit hungry so headed on down the road. So did Steve.

Short's Rootbeer Stand and the restored gas station are actually in Coldwater.

There are seventeen bridges in McCourtie Park. The bridges and other features of the park are wonderful examples of a technique known as "el trabajo rustico". Though the material is concrete, the results look like wood or rope. This was the estate of W.H.L. McCourtie. He often entertained in the white structure which could not be seen from the road. The two "trees" standing over the structure are actually chimneys. One is shown in the last picture along with a real tree.

The feeder goes right by Michigan International Speedway.

The story of the Irish Hills Towers is one of a farmer and a company building competing observation towers as close as possible to the property line between them. The competition started in 1924 and did not really end until the two properties were combined in 1957. When I spotted the towers, I turned earlier than needed and ended up on a road behind the towers for the unusual "dark side of the moon" view in the first photo.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]