7.26.20. Exciting news! Our own Lilac Way is featured in historian Joanna Dowling’s new “Along The Way: Midwest Waysides and Rest Stops” video. This well-written and researched film documents the places we stop when we are on the way to somewhere else.
Scroll down to watch video
The Lilac Way section starts at about 9:00, but it’s worth watching the entire 39 minute video. Get a cool drink and watch some great history.
Lilac Way’s seven parks followed in the footsteps of history
Ms. Dowling tells a great story of American’s wayside stops. The increased use of automobiles brought a need for highway wayside rests. The 1919 Transcontinental Army Motor Convoy across America—3200 miles in 62 days—led to the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1921, creating a system of highways.
The first roadside park was built in the spring of 1929 on Route 16 in Michigan. Lilac Way’s seven parks followed about a decade later.
As a Lilac Way enthusiast, I was thrilled to see our local roadside parks included in this project. Thanks, Joanne—Karen Laukkonen
Rest Area History
Restareahistory.org was developed and is maintained by Joanna Dowling, a historian and consultant based in Chicago, IL. Her work includes research and writing on topics of nineteenth and twentieth century architectural history, cultural landscapes and the built environment.
Ms. Dowling specializes in the history and program development of Interstate safety rest areas, a program owing its origins to the mid-twentieth century period. This research led to the formation of restareahistory.org, a web based organization dedicated to the documentation and communication of rest area history and architectural form.
Web site: RestAreaHistory.org