Post-Tribune, Saturday, 17 November, 1923
DUNES HIGHWAY BUILDERS AND
BOOSTERS TOASTED AT OFFICIAL OPENING
There's a swell new road a-winding
Through the dunes along the lake.
It's nice and smooth and solid,
Without a single break,
There are no detours or chuck holes,
'Cause it's all right brand new--
Let's take a load out on the road;
The Dunes highway is through.
Two hundred voices pitched to the proper dogma of
enthusiasm sang the words last night to the tune of "There's a Long,
Long Trail A-winding." It was at the Dunes highway dedication
banquet held last night at Hotel Spaulding, Michigan City.
Then, when the menu had been discussed, the speeches
made and the usual grist of compliments and congratulations disposed
of, the men and women in the big dining room rose and to the tune of
"Old Lang Syne," sang the following, written by Nina Baker:
Should all the railroads be forgot
And lost for many moons;
We care not if they ne'er come back,
While riding on the Dunes.
The Dunes highway __ ____ __ ____;
We've waited many moons,
But now it's done, let's have some fun
While riding on the Dunes.
Dunes highway, child of a dream, was born in a swamp
and christened in a hailstorm. It follows the trails made by the
red man centuries ago and its dedication as a highway was featured by
gun-play and the blaring notes of a band playing, "The Gang's All Here."
For despite hailstorms, highwaymen, brass bands and
the general perverseness of things, Dunes highway was declared open to
the public forever as the "Shortest Route Between the Atlantic and the
A bronze tablet bearing the above inscription was
installed by the side of the big road near Baileytown. Capt. H.
S. Norton delivered the brief address of dedication and pointed out the
fact that the great highway was built exactly 100 years after the white
man came into possession of northern Indiana through act of congress in
Then the long parade of autos proceeded to Michigan
City where a fine banquet awaited the guests.
The parade left Gary at 2 p. m., arriving in
Michigan City just two hours later including a 45-minute stop near
Baileytown where the memorial tablet was placed in position and where a
cheerfull stunt not included in the program was enacted by Ingwald Moe
and others--but that's another story.
The parade proceeded through Michigan City and
proceeded along the state road to the Michigan state line, a distance
of three miles, returning by way of Long Beach highway along the shore
of Lake Michigan.
More than 200 men and women sat down to the banquet
given at Hotel Spaulding. The food was splendid. The
service was good. The talks were elaborately optimistic.
Earl Crawford of the Indiana state highway
commission declared Dunes highway to be the greatest transcontinental
thoroughfare in America. Chief Engineer "Dolly" Gray said it was
the greatest engineering problem the state had ever encountered.
Capt. H. S. Norton
of my old newspaper transcription files have been corrupted]
Dunes Highway,' the thought occurred to me that to this could
also be added, `Opening Officially the Celebrated Road.' I
mention this because you and I know, that the Indiana Dunes highway has
long since been regarded as one of the most important highways while
under construction, not only for northern Indiana, or for the purpose
of providing a shorter and safer road between Michigan City and Gary,
but because it is destined to be of service to our nation by reason of
providing the shortest route from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean.
"Then too, no doubt some of you know that history
tells us that practically all of the right-of-way over which the Dunes
highway is built, was designated by an act of congress in 1833, and is
known as the old Detroit-Chicago trail.
"When I was elected president of the Indiana Dunes
Highway association about five years ago, naturally I considered myself
highly honored; but little did I think of the many problems that would
confront us during the interim. However, I feet that from the
very inception of our association, we had a mutual understanding, the
sincere cooperation of the officers and members of the Indiana Dunes
Highway association, the financial assistance of the state of Indiana;
the federal government, the moral support of the Indiana state highway
commission, under the leadership of John Williams, director, and
Charles Gray, chief engineer, and naturally I feel grateful for this
The principal address was made by Earl Crawford of
the Indiana state highway commission who had come to Gary and
accompanied the auto parade to Michigan City.
Mr. Crawford complimented the officials and members
of the Dunes Highway association, the citizens of Gary and Michigan
City and the contractors who built Dunes highway and declared it was
one of the greatest thoroughfares in the world. "I doubt if there
is another thoroughfare in the world that will benefit so many people,"
Mr. Crawford declared.
While he did not say so in his public talk, Mr.
Crawford informed a representative of the Gary Post-Tribune that the
overhead crossing at Baileytown would be built next year, while the
overhead crossing at Miller would not be built until 1925.
Mr. Crawford explained at length the policy of the
state highway commission in building of roads where they would be the
greatest good to the greatest number of people. He declared that
7 per cent of the Indiana state highways touch 70 per cent of the
population of the state. The state roads of Indiana, he declared
served 537 towns of 2,500 population and less, and 226 cities of the
The highway construction program for 1924 and 1925
include 1,500 miles of new roads which benefit 44 per cent of the
population of Indiana.
Frank D. Rogers, state highway commissioner for
Michigan, made an interesting talk in which he said that the state of
Michigan was ready to meet the state of Indiana at the state line with
good roads. Michigan wanted all possible roads from Indiana and
the south to the Michigan summer resorts and declared Dunes highway
would be a "golden trail to Michigan" during the summer resort season.
C. Gray, chief engineer of the Indiana state highway
department, described the engineering problems connected with the
construction of Dunes highway and said it was one of the most wonderful
highways in the world.
H. J. Gray, manager of the Michigan Tourist and
Resort association, said the new Dunes highway was worth more to
Michigan than anything Michigan had ever done for herself.
Colonel Orr of Chicago Heights, who built the east
end of the new highway, and Ingwald Moe, of Gary, who built the west
end, were called upon and each made a few remarks which were loudly
Capt. H. S. Norton, president of the Lake County
Good Roads association, said Dunes highway was perhaps the only highway
in history that "had to be opened with a corkscrew," reference being
made to a little episode on the highway near Baileytown when Ingwald
Moe, contractor, staged a hold-up of the parade and, would not allow it
to proceed until he was placated by a bottle of what appeared to be
hair tonic or cod liver oil.
Captain Norton called attention to the historic
point along the new transcontinental highway and declared that every
mile of the route between Gary and Michigan City was rich in songs and
stories of the past.
Mr. Fowler of the Illinois Automobile club wanted to
know when the Indiana highway commission was going to act on the
widening of Indianapolis boulevard.
State Highway Commission Crawford responded that the
thoroughfare already had been inspected by the state commission and
that the Indiana end of the boulevard would be widened and improved
next year. Mr. Crawford's statement was received with cheers.
Following the adjournment, it was announced that
pictures of the dedication exercises taken at Baileytown by
Photographer Bortz, may be had at the Gary office of the Hoosier State
Automobile association at the Gary hotel in Gary.