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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Nothing Special: 1925

Nothing Special: 1925

Circa 1925. "Dr. S.M. Johnson, Lee Highway Association." Seen here at the Zero Milestone in front of the White house. Samuel Johnson, "Apostle of Good Roads," was the tireless promoter of a southern-route transcontinental highway named after Gen. Robert E. Lee as a counterpart to the Lincoln Highway up north. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Bankhead / Lee

Enjoying the pictures and info. I am continuing to learn more about the auto trails. I do understand that in Texas, i.e. from Mineral Wells to Lamesa, they call it the Bankhead Highway. Moreover, doesn't it have other names besides Lee and Bankhead?

Drive the Lee Highway!

Now I know where the name Lee Highway originated. The 1918-vintage 15-ft concrete laid from Plaster City, California, across the mountains, to connect the farmlands of Imperial Valley to San Diego is still visible, and drivable, in a few segments off the equally charming 1930 vintage US 80, which parallels I-8 for 30-plus unmolested miles in San Diego County. Googling "Old US 80 CA" or similar phrases will take readers to several web sites devoted to the vintage concrete, including some photos of the hair-raising climb up the In-Ko-Pah Gorge.

Lee's Highways

Anyone who's spent any time in Virginia will acknowledge the depth of the reverence and honor held for Robert E. Lee, the Old Dominion's first son. There are a number of roads called the Lee Highway there (Route 29 past Dulles Airport, one near Abingdon way down in the mountains, and, of course, Route 11 down the Shenandoah Valley -- the highway of my youth). Mentioning the "Civil War" will bring rebukes of correction: it was the "War of Northern Aggression."

10-6 C 148

A nice spot for a coffee break in the wee small hours of the morning.

Youse Guys

Thank you, Dave, for knowing how to correctly spell y'all.

Ah Take Exception

Suh, What do you-all mean. "Nothing Special"? Suh, ah will have you-all to know that the sainted General Robert E. Lee was the flowah of Southern chivalry and the highest expression of the nobility of man. Those dam' yankees should have felt honahed to have the oppahtunity to ride on a road named foah him.

You carpetbagger you.

[The Zero marker is a special Nothing. Y'all get it now? - Dave]

Oh, mah goodness. Ah am so embarrassed. I hope you-all kin find it in yoah haht to fogive me.

[Bull City Boy wants to let leslie and Dave know that he is well familiar with "y'all" and uses that contraction often in informal correspondence. "You-all" was employed by way of a being a parody of a heavy Southern accent, as was the substitution of "ah" for "r".]

His Monument

The Zero Mile Stone was Samuel Johnson's "baby." In 1920, Congress authorized construction of the Lee Highway, but without funds. Johnson took charge of the project and raised money for its design and construction.

If this photo was taken at the dedication, the date would be June 4, 1923.

This site marked the departure point of the 1919 and 1920 Army Transcontinental Convoys across the United States. A young Dwight Eisenhower was on the first one.

The Other End

The Lee Highway terminated in downtown San Diego's Horton Plaza (the public square, not the shopping center). Here's a view of the Pacific Milestone, dedicated on November 17, 1923. San Diego's Col. Ed Fletcher is second from left, a vice president of the Lee Highway Association and a lifelong promoter of good highways.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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