National Highway May Come This Way

Convention to be Held Here June 10th to Discuss Matter.


The Upper Route is Even Now Being Traveled by a Scouting Party, But the Lower Would be Better.

People along the line of the national boulevard proposed to be constructed from Washing to Atlanta, and to Florida, have been getting busy in earnest lately. They are pulling for the receptive routes available, and it is up to Columbia and other towns along the proposed eastern route to move rapidly and decisively.

Atlanta has been taking the lead in this movement, and its newspapers have been exploiting the subject very extensively. It is not so much a matter of interest to Atlanta which route is chosen as that a road or some road shall be built, and that it shall go to Atlanta.

In the meantime Columbia is vitally interested in the route to be chosen, and she has not been altogether idle. The Chamber of Commerce, the Automobile association and the State Good Roads association have joined hands, and on Monday evening there is to be held a joint meeting of the memberships of the several organizations which will take action towards the calling of a convention in this city to which delegates will be invited from all points on the line of the eastern route, via Camden, in the States interested.

Dr. E. M. Whaley, as the representative of the three organizations name, has formulated letters to be sent to places and parties interested in this project.

Invitations Issued.

A copy of the following letter will be forwarded to secretaries of the chambers of commerce at Savannah, Jacksonville and Ormond Beach; also to Richmond, Raleigh and Petersburg;

“Dear Sir: Having seen that you are interested in a road from Washington to Atlanta. I write to inform you that we propose to have a convention in Columbia, S. C., at 12 o’clock, Thursday, June 10, of the city officials and county supervisors of the towns and counties from Rockingham, N. C., to Augusta, Ga., including about 250 miles of roadway.

“This part of the road we have every reason to believe will be put through and probably be finished before the coming winter. We should be very glad if you cared to send one or more representatives to this convention, to have them with us.

“The convention meets in the rooms of the chamber of commerce at 12, noon, on Juen 10, 1909.”

Supervisors Should Come.

Another letter will be addressed at once to the chamber of commerce and city officials of Charleston, and all towns along the proposed line to Charleston, including Summerville, Dorchester, Rowesville, Branchville, Orangeburg, St. Matthews, Fort Motte, Gadsden, Kingville, Lykesland and Eastover;

Dear Sir; We propose to link all the winter tourist hotels by one continuous road, many of the details of which will be explained by the inclosures, and will have a convention in Columbia, in the rooms of the Chamber of Commerce at noon on June 10, of the representatives of the cities and the county supervisors through which the road will pass.

“We hope you will send at least one representative from your city and the county supervisor. If you will push the matter and get the Bates’ ferry, near Fort Motte, an established fact, there will be little work for you to get into the road which we are advocating and hope to have selected by the federal government.”

Let ‘Em All Come.

Still another letter will be sent out by Dr. Whaley to Pinehurst, Rockingham, Cheraw, Bishopville, Darlington, Camden, Blaney, Lexington, Leesville, Batesburg, Ridge Spring, Aiken and Augusta. This letter will go to each county supervisor, in addition to the towns, along the route:

“Dear Sir: As you known, we have, with your cooperation, been trying got the the route for the Atlanta-Washington road through our way; and even if we do not succeed in having this route selected, it is up to us to link up all the different towns and counties from Pinehurst, N. C., to Augusta, Ga.

“In order to work intelligently and together, it is our purpose to have a convention of representatives from each of these towns on the route, and every county supervisor through whose county we propose through whose county we propose to go.

“This convention we have called to meet at Columbia, S. C. in rooms of the Chamber of Commerce, at 12 noon, June 10, 1909. It is our earnest pleas that each city and county be represented by at least one delegate.

“We would like to hear from you at your earliest convenience that you are coming,” Dr. Whaley was yesterday in receipt of the following letter from G. M. McMillan of Pinehurst, who is now at Gorham, N. H.;

Effort Will Do the Work.

“Your Favor of the 12th has been forwarded to me here. I am pleased to learn of your interest in good roads. It is a subject I am very much interested in, especially in the South, where I believe more good will come from them than here. through general interest in this improvement is doing wonders.

“My article was sent out at my own expense with the hope that it might help the good work along. It was nowise intended to further any particular route, but to hasten any trunk link from North to South. This once secured, other will soon follow: and the most promising in my mind, uplift, will be well under way. This is a worthy subject for any citizen anxious to better conditions, and I hope you will help it along.

“I will be very glad to receive a copy of your article published, and trust you will not fail to send it to me here. A Raleigh – Pinehurst – Rockingham -Cheraw – Darlington – Camden – Columbia August route can be completed, and there will no be many obstacles to overcome if only a united effort were made to complete it.

“The Atlanta route, naturally, will look toward the Charlotte – Greensboro connection” but if the other is pushed, and with out delay, it will of itself be a magnet to draw other connections to it. Talk won’t do much, but roads, good, and doing business, are a trump card.

“To the first through line will go great advantages. I would suggest your writing to Mr. Leonard Tufts, owner of Pinehurst, N. C., who is very much interested in this subject in a business way, and who will gladly cooperate in the development of essential routes. He has just been from Cary, N. C., to Camden, S. C., working and investigating this problem, and perhaps can give you some information of value. I will forward your letters to him, and am sure your interests are mutual.”

Camden is Alive.

Camden has already waked up to the importance of the movement to have itself included in the route of the proposed boulevard. Active preparations are in progress in Kershaw county to as quickly as possible construct the road from Camden to meet the road now in process of construction under the direction of Supervisor S. H. Owens of Richard county, to connect these two cities, which will form a not inconsiderable link in the big road when finished.

Through the efforts of Dr. John W. Corbett and R. G. McCreight of Camden a petition has been gotten up and circulated in that city, and which has been signed by practically every business man there, requesting the supervisor of Kershaw County, Mr. M. C. West, to construct the road from Camden Columbia wards as far as the Richland line as soon as possible. The petition in circulation at Camden was accompanied by the following letters to Supervisor West:

Mr. M. C. West, Supervisor, Camden, S. C.

Dear Sir: We are here with inclosing petition from the representative business men of Camden, with the sense of which you are already familiar. We wish to thank you for your efforts in the good roads movement in the past and feel that you will exercise the same interest in this movement in the future. We also wish to assure you of the confidence and interest that the people at large in this community have and are showing in the work done by you and we appreciate any efforts that you may see fit to make in the movement now set forth by this county and the county of Richland. We would take pleasure in meeting you at any time and talking this matter over with you and if necessary take you over the roads in a machine, thus enabling you to better judge just what is required. Thanking you for your interest in this matter we beg to remain,

Yours very truly,
Dr. John W. Corbett,
R. G. McCreight,

A scouting car sent by the New York Hearld has been out exploring the “north route” via Greenville. In the course of a half-page story of the trip of this scouting car The Journal of Atlanta says:

“Painstaking care is being applied to the work of the scouting party. Elaborate data are being collected, for later compilation. Information upon all points relative to the great highway is being gathered first hand, from actual observation and from the mouths of all who have it to impart. Distances are being noted: crossroads and forks, fords, bridges, hills, are being put down – not only that the pathfinder will have at hand reliable data upon which to base their final conclusions, but also that maps and guide books may be published for tourist to whom the United States heretofore, except in the neighborhood of big cities and in their own localities (if they be citizens of the country), has been a jungle impenetrable except by steel rails and train.

One Continuous Ovation.

“From the incidental standpoint, the tour of the scout car thus far has been on continuous ovation, from county to county and from town to town. Welcoming delegations from two or three towns at once have become traveling companions with the scout car in their midst. The party has brought town and town together in a new relation. The scouting expedition has been passed from the welcoming arms of one neighborhood to the welcoming arms of another. And since it left Atlanta, Friday morning, it has been also but once. IT has, as effectually as through it had unwound and riveted steel connections on the road as it traveled, sealed the interest of county and county together, and the interest of State and State, in the great highway that the future will know.”

May 21, 1909 State (published as The State) Columbia, South Carolina News Article Issue 6648 Page 12

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