Why Indiana Transportation History?

This entry today is a more personal look at the behind the scenes of ITH. That is why it will be published on Saturday….a day that I will not normally be posting.

People may wonder: “why do you do an Indiana Transportation History group and blog?”

The answer is both straight forward and confusing at the same time.

My interests in history stretches back almost four decades. I am not sure how I became interested in history. I just did. And it wasn’t just general history, it was a more local variety. When I was stationed in Norfolk, VA, I studied the history of the area. When I was transferred to Cleveland, the same thing happened.

Along with an interest in history, I have, for as long as I can remember, had a fascination with collecting maps and license plates. I have had two very nice collections of both. My current collections are better than the first.

When I was growing up, my family made quite a few trips to the are where my parents grew up, western Pennsylvania. For some reason, I found myself interested in the roads that we traveled, and the signs (especially route markers) I saw along the way. Remember, I grew up when the interstate system was almost complete. I can’t remember ever having to get off of I-70 and use US 40 due to construction of the route, but now that I have had the chance to look back, I know it happened.

And it was US 40 that sparked an interest, as well. Anyone that travels I-70 in either direction from Indianapolis sees that US 40 shield…a LOT. (As a side note, there was only one place in Indiana where I-70 crossed US 40 and there wasn’t an exit: Washington Street and I-65/I-70 in downtown Indianapolis.) I remember seeing that shield, wondering what it was about. For some reason, while growing up, I never made the connection between that US 40 shield and things like the US 19 or US 119 shield I saw back in Pennsylvania. As I grew up, I had to figure this out.

I also found myself interested in railroads and trains. It also helped that my granpap (grandfather to those of you in Indiana) worked for the local railroad, the Pennsylvania Railroad.

So, combine all of the above: interest in history, map geek, road geek, license plate collector, map collector, and train nut.

Add one more thing, and the resulting expenditures involved in that, and you have the Indiana Transportation History group and blog: Genealogy.

With my interest in genealogy, I managed to acquire a subscription to newspapers.com. Anyone that has looked at the Facebook group knows that I rely on that site…a LOT.

And that is how this whole thing started. I am glad that it has become something that others will use. I may never become rich and famous because I talk about route markers and dirt trails. That’s OK. I am doing something I enjoy…and that, apparently, others enjoy as well.

Just an observation.

(I end this entry with a line I use on almost every personal post I make.)

One thought on “Why Indiana Transportation History?

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