In 1925, the Oklahoma State Highway Commission instituted a system of numbered state highways crisscrossing the state and creating easily followed routes between towns. This action was part of a growing national "good roads" movement that would eventually find its ultimate expression in the United States Highway system created two years later. First, however, the various states created their own systems of numbering, based on what they saw as the important corridors in their state. This lends an interesting look into the major travel routes within the state in the early 1920s, and allows us to see how the various population centers have varied in relative prominence over the intervening period.
On the following pages, you will find representations of the original state highways, approximated using modern highways that follow the same general route. To generate these paths, we have tried to show the approximated route passing through as many of the same towns it originally did as possible, taking into account the general motion of highways to the edge of towns or bypasses. In some cases, the highways have moved very little if at all, but in others several of the original towns on the route have been completely bypassed by the modern highways. Still, the approximated routes we have created allow for a general idea of where the original routes would run today if the original numbering system had been retained. It is also easy to see why the numbering system was significantly revamped in 1930, as the coming of the US routes rendered several of the state routes basically redundant. The original routes are first divided into three groups based on what we perceive as their relative importance in the 1925 highway network; the individual routes are then explored on individual detailed pages. Please enjoy this look at what was and what could have been.
Click here for the official 1925 State Highway Map, on ODOT's website.
Routes 1 to 6 - The Six Great Crossings
Routes 7 to 12 - The Secondary Crossings
Routes 13 to 31 - The Distribution Network
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State Highway Shields created by Ken Parker of Oklahoma Bridge & Highways Group.