Madison. Once, the second largest town in Indiana, starting point for both the first long distance railroad in Indiana, and Indiana’s first official state road. With the “Great Renumbering,” Madison became home to three state roads: SR 7, SR 29 and SR 56. Of those three, SR 7 and SR 29 (originally) climbed a very large hill coming out of the Ohio River valley. At the top of the hill, the town of North Madison gave a respite to the climbers of the long and winding roads. This was also the location of Clifty Falls State Park. In 1932, the State Highway Commission decided to add a road to its system to service the park. It became SR 107.
SR 107 was a daughter of SR 7. This made sense, since the road, originally, was only a couple of miles long, starting at SR 7. In its early years, SR 107 was so short that, although shown as a state road on official maps, there were times that the road number wasn’t even included on those maps. Such is the case for the years 1932 and 1934. The first official labelling of SR 107 occurred in 1933, then again from 1935 on. 1933 also added another state road to the town of Madison, SR 62. This road will come into play later.
The original road, shown in these two map snippets, changed a little in 1934, while still ending at Clifty Falls State Park. (Even though the road number wasn’t shown.)
SR 107 would be lengthened in 1938, by about a mile or so. However, in 1937, the ISHC maps show a county road connecting the end of SR 107 to SR 256 west of Madison. By 1939, the short state road was expanded to connect SR 29, SR 7, SR 256, SR 56 and SR 62 together from east to west through North Madison. This made the entire road five miles long.
SR 107 would remain the same for many years after this. The only real change in ISHC maps was the change of SR 29 to US 421 in 1951. 1963 saw a change in SR 107 when it was removed from ISHC maps between SR 7 and US 421. It was returned to the official map the very next year. This may have been just a cartographic error.
In 1970, construction was completed on the US 421 that currently enters Madison, bypassing the large, winding, hill into town. The old US 421, from its junction with SR 107 to where the bypass ended became part of SR 107. Right about where SR 107 would have connected to SR 62, had it ever been extended that far, the new US 421 took over the route that SR 62 followed into Madison, hence a multiplex of US 421 and SR 62. Again, this will become important shortly.
1976 saw the last time SR 107 was shown on official maps. In 1977, all of SR 107 was removed, being replaced with SR 62. The multilane SR 62 bypass of Madison was being constructed, connecting from the new US 421 to the old US 421 that became SR 107. To maintain a complete SR 62, the old US 421 section of SR 107 became SR 62. That section would still be listed as an unnumbered state road until 1981. It was then that the last few miles of the original Michigan Road was once again removed from the state road system. However, the old road is still accessible, and is labeled as the Michigan Road Historic Byway.
Editor’s note: This post will go live on 12 July 2019. As an unplanned event, simply because I really didn’t think that far ahead, the latest “Road Trip 1926” will be posted on 13 July 2019. The subject of that entry? State Road 7.