Good Roadds to Tourism: Community Support Grows

 

A 1914 proclamation by Governor Oswald West

The Good Roads Movement began in the late 1800s when bicyclists lobbied for an improvement over the dirt roads that existed in most of Oregon. The popularization of the automobile in the first two decades of the 1900s accelerated the effort. The Columbia River Highway was largely a result of the political groundswell of support for better roads. Governor Oswald West went so far as to proclaim a "Good Roads Day" as the following document shows:

A 1914 proclamation by Governor Oswald West


Local governments and communities shared a keen awareness of the economic value of the Columbia River Highway. As the construction of the highway progressed, officials and civic leaders fine tuned plans to capitalize on the opportunity. Even the exact name of the highway brought discussion as is shown in the two letters below.

A letter from the Multnomah County Commissioners to the State Engineer

 

A letter from the Multnomah County Commissioners to the State Engineer

 

A letter from the Clatsop County Commissioners to the State Engineer

A letter from the Clatsop County Commissioners to the State Engineer

 


Newspapers marveled at the state of the art engineering on the new Columbia River Highway and gave wide coverage to the construction progress.

An Oregon Sunday Journal newspaper clipping from October 25, 1914

 

An Oregon Sunday Journal newspaper clipping from October 25, 1914

 

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