Showing posts from March, 2020

The Auto Trails: North America's Predecessors to Numbered Highways

In the early 20th century, with the advent of the automobile becoming inexpensive enough to be affordable by the Middle Class, America's highway infrastructure was nearly non-existent.  Road networks were essentially a series of dirt roads and plank roads outside of major cities, and the interurban  railways of the day were usually more reliable forms of transportation.  Historic Yellowstone Trail Marker in North Fond du Lac, WI. Image: RoyalBroil, Wikipedia Commons From these paths, an informal network of roads began to coalesce that would be become known as Auto Trails . Today we're going to look at this system, and how from the Auto Trails, the US Highway System, and later the Interstate Highway would come to fruition.  To understand the Auto Trail in the context of transportation history, one must go back to the beginning of the development of the transportation system of the United States, which begins thousands of years before the United States even existe

The Dachau Concentration Camp: My Experience (By Jet Lagged Jaff)

Our friend who goes by JetLaggedJaff recently completed a visit of Europe, and among the spots he visited was the Dachau Concentration Camp . He has graciously shared his visit and thoughts on this extremely harrowing place in which unspeakable atrocities occurred against humanity. We'll let him continue from here... First of all, would I recommend a place like this for a visit? Absolutely. It may have been frightening, but it was also an experience you would not want to miss when you visit Germany. You can read all about the Holocaust in textbooks, but visiting Dachau will definitely give you a true connection with the prisoners. You will definitely grow as a person and have a deeper understanding and compassion for the people that died. Entrance to Dachau, which translated means " Work Sets [You] Free ". The phrase appears on many concentration camps. Dachau Concentration camp was the first concentration camp to open in 1933. It was originally intended to ho

RailROWMap: The Future of Mapping Abandoned Railroad Lines (Available December 2020)

It's been awhile since I've sat down and blogged, but it hasn't been because I've stopped wanting to, or had writer's block, but rather, over the last few months, I've been working to fully realize the ultimate goal of the  abandoned and out-of-service railroad lines map  since its inception. RailROWMap Launches December 2020! And that is to create a platform which allows others to contribute your knowledge of railroad history and mapping to the project. The vastness of the abandoned railroad network is such that the only way it can be fully realized is with the magic of crowdsourcing. I started mapping abandoned railroad lines as a side project on March 29th, 2016. Exactly four years to the day, I am beyond excited that the next step toward creating an accurate, crowsourced map of abandoned railroad lines is will be a reality! Both iOS and Android users will each have their own apps available in the App Store and Google Play, respectively. A desktop app to