Old US 31 in Northern Indiana

The Jim Grey Page Roads


Grissom Air Reserve Base

Between Peru and Indianapolis, US 31 follows its original route except to bypass Kokomo, Westfield, and Carmel. So we would be seeing a lot of the big slab for the rest of our trip.

We reviewed the 1916 Automobile Blue Book and saw that it directed drivers through the towns of Bunker Hill and Miami, which lie a mile or so east of US 31. The ABB directed drivers down what it considered the best route, which did not always coincide with the marked trails or signed highways.

North of Nead, an unincorporated town a couple miles south of where Business US 31 intersected with US 31, the map labeled as US 31 a long driveway that ran parallel to the highway on its west side. We also thought we saw pieces of cement strewn along the east side of the highway south of Nead. We wondered whether the four-lane US 31 had been built alongside the two-lane road through here.

If you ever drive by here, you'll certainly see the old Air Force planes from the highway. They're part of the Grissom Air Reserve Base air museum. I've driven by here hundreds of times, almost always on the weekends when I assumed the museum was closed. Brian, who has a pilot's license and enjoys all things airborne, told me that the museum is open weekends. So we stopped. Here's a view of the museum from the air.

Even though museum admission was inexpensive, our time was short, so we took photos from the fence. I can easily identify cars, but not planes, so I offer these photos from the museum without comment.

Heading south from Grissom, as we approached CR 1100 S we noticed a long driveway paralleling the highway. It extended briefly past CR 1100 S as well. It looked to us like it could have been an old US 31 segment, so we stopped for a quick photograph. Seeing stuff like this makes me wish for more information about US 31's history and how the current four-lane highway was built. Was this, in fact, a segment of the old road? If so, why was it left? Is it just a frontage road built at the same time as the highway, but then not maintained?

Just before Kokomo, we saw more road paralleling US 31, this time on the east side of the highway. We decided there wasn't enough evidence to know what we were looking at.

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Start 1 State Line 2 South Bend, Part 1 3 South Bend, Part 2 4 Lakeville and La Paz
5 Plymouth 6 Argos 7 Rochester 8 Lonely Road 9 Mexico and Peru
10 Grissom Air Reserve Base 11 Kokomo 12 Westfield and Carmel 13 Indianapolis

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Created 13 January 2008.
These pages, including text and photographs, are copyright 2008 by Jim Grey. (Replace # with @ if you click that link to send me e-mail.)
Maps are screen shots from Live Search Maps. All copyrights acknowledged.