How many times have we heard that, followed by a struggle for that coveted front passenger seat. How cool is it to get in the car and just drive... seeing new sights... singing songs along the way?... Well, my family did the song thing. Of course it can be helpful to have a map in the glove compartment to give you an idea of what lies around the next bend in the road too.
Imagine yourself taking a road trip across Kansas in 1918... or 1921... The map would not only be crucial in telling you where you're headed but a good road map would tell you if the road intersecting ahead was gravel, dirt or paved.... very important as there weren't as many paved roads as there are now. The number of small towns would most likely be greater than today too, offering you the chance to stop for a drink at a general store. Road maps would have been vital in getting around for sure.
Thanks to the Kansas Historical Society the Kansas Government Information (KGI) Library now has a modest collection of digitized State Highway Commission road maps for Kansas up online. We've had to divide each map up in sections to scan them but we believe they give a good look at the development of roads in our state.
So pack up the Roadster with victuals for a picnic along the way, hop in and take off to see the sights using your imagination, some great online graphic sites with old pictures of Kansas and an old Kansas highway map!
You can see the collection at:
HISTORIC KANSAS HIGHWAY MAPS
The Kansas Department of Transportation has a great collection of Kansas highway maps as well. They can be viewed here:
(These links were supplied by Lin Fredericksen of the Kansas Historical Society)