Resuming from south Chicago and our turn on US 6 onto I-80/I-94, we (presently)
enter a morass of construction. For this reason, I found no Indiana state line
marker heading east at the present time (and if there is one, it's
non-obvious). However, traveling westbound, this bridge has a "Welcome to
Illinois" sign on the back and the blue mileposts Indiana uses start
immediately after, so I will conclude that this is the state line.
US 6 in Indiana, other than the I-80/I-94 co-routing, has been relatively
unmolested and goes through much of the same places it did before.
It carries and crosses many US highways in Indiana, often minor but still
noteworthy. One thing I like a lot is their quasi-overhead signage used for
many junctions, even minor ones. It makes the photography really easy and
it just plain looks sharp. I think more states should do this.
This is part of the US 35 junction near Kingsford Heights, a small town
US 6/US 35 mostly bypasses to the east with a bizarre World War II
history. Originally, the
town was planned by FDR and the War Department to be
built as "Victory City" in 1942 as housing for
workers in the Kingsbury Ordnance Plant to the north (north of this junction
along US 35). Security was such that even the street names were intentionally
obfuscated, set up in such a way that only the first letters were the same
of continuous streets so that navigation was nearly impossible without knowing
the key. This curious layout
to this day.
After the war, most of the workers left and the remaining residents
incorporated themselves into the present-day town in 1956. Its population
today numbers 1,453 .
It's Walky! WIIGII! This is Walkerton and junction IN 23 in the center of
town, a pleasant little community named for James H. Walker, a LaPorte, IN
banker who built the Cincinnati-Peru-Chicago Railroad in 1856;
the town had been settled originally as West York ca. 1850 but reformulated
under the railroad's new survey layout. Nobel Prize-winning chemist Harold
Urey (well known to us UC San Diego alums), the discoverer of deuterium,
was a Walkerton boy. Its present population is 2,274 .
Both Indiana and Illinois have the same basic type of state marker, a rectangle
with the name in it and that's it. This is marginally better than Maine, for
just has the rectangle, but it's not very inspiring and it can be hard to
tell the state routes apart on highways that cross back and forth since only
the name is different (although Indiana uses black trim on big green signs).
A wild turkey foraging along the road.
Through Wawaka (an unclear Indian term for "big heron"), a pleasant hamlet
of 1,640 .
A rather picturesque study taken passing by.
The family business. Just kidding.
This was taken in Butler, near the Ohio border, a town of 1,805 .
Ohio has strung US 6 onto several expressway and even true freeway alignments,
bypassing many towns (most notably Bowling Green, of which the old route
survives as Bowling Green Rd). This is a little sad in a way that the old
local colour is gone in some stretches, but it *is* nice to see that Ohio has
restored US 6 to its original role as a major arterial. In fact, many of the
US highways in Ohio have been upgraded in such a way, most notably US 30 and
US 33 which have long stretches of true freeway along their length; compare
this to the treatment US highways have gotten in my home state of California
(i.e., wholescale legislative genocide). This is
part of the Napoleon bypass co-routed with US 24.
Napoleon's old route is largely preserved by a business routing
which is marked in the field as "NAPOLEON BUSINESS ROUTE" --
it is not signed as BUSINESS US 6 from
the highway, nor does it appear as a true business route on my maps or NAVTEQ,
so we will simply mention it for reference. The seat of Henry county, named
for patriot Patrick Henry with a population of 29,210 ,
Napoleon was named for (who else?) French dictator and conquerer Napoleon
Bonaparte and has a
troop strength population of 9,318 .
This freeway alignment of US 6/US 24 crosses the Maumee River, possibly a
corruption of the Native American term me-ah-me (from which we also
derive Miami), though no one is quite sure what the original term meant.
One of the feeders of Lake Erie, it winds from its confluence at Ft. Wayne, IN
for approximately 130 miles. Its designation as a Scenic River seems well
An interesting way to memorialize the Grand Army of the Republic Highway,
in McClure (named for local landowner John McClure, population 754 [2003
And a more conventional one, at a rest stop.
US 6 starts to adopt a Great Lakes
coastal route around this point as it trends further
northeast. More of this will be seen on the route between Sandusky and
Cleveland. This is part of the ample nature preserves near Sandusky,
specifically approaching it from the southwest.
Entering Sandusky. More tomorrow.