This page has been upgraded. Here is the temporary link.

End of US highway 641

View a map showing this route.

Additional research and/or photo credits: Robert Brooks; Nathan Edgars; Alan Hamilton; Don Hargraves; Bruce Kasprzyk; Jeff Morrison; Joe Reda; Charles Sarjeant; Brent Scott

Approx. time period North terminus South terminus
1955-1972 Evansville, IN Paris, TN
1972-1977 Marion, KY Paris, TN
1977-2015 Marion, KY (near Camden, TN)
2015-present Marion, KY (near Clifton, TN)

US 641 was commissioned in 1955. At its north end, it joined with US 41 in Henderson KY, and the two routes were twinned across the Ohio River to Evansville IN. Here's a detail from a 1950s photo taken in Evansville:

Donahue Collection, 1950s

The subject of the original photo was a building on the corner of Kentucky Avenue and Cherry Street. But it happened to include the backside of a sign assembly, and the image above is a detail, reversed for legibility. US 41/641/IN 66 were on Kentucky; 641 tagged along with 41 up to the junction with US 460:

INDOT, c. 1959

Apparently that was the case until 1972, but the only INDOT maps I've seen that include US 641 shields are from the 1950s. Anyway, the photo below shows the historic endpoint:

Google Maps Street View, Apr. 2012

That's looking north on Fares Avenue at Virginia Street. US 41/641 came up to this intersection, and 641 ended here. Straight ahead was northbound US 41 and eastbound US 460, while westbound 460 was to the left on Virginia. The photo below is looking the opposite direction (south on Fares):

Google Maps Street View, Apr. 2012

This was westbound US 460 (which continued to the right on Virginia) and southbound US 41 (which continued straight ahead). Also straight ahead was the north beginning of US 641. That direction has since been slightly altered because of the newer US 41 expressway (you can see some of its overhead signage in the distance). Also, Canal no longer connects to southbound Kentucky because of the newer Lloyd Expressway.

South of Henderson, US 641 was co-signed with US 60 all the way to Marion, and then on its own to its southern terminus at US 79 in Paris TN. There, I assume US 79 originally went through the downtown area. But US 641 wasn't commissioned until 1955. I have a fairly detailed 1959 atlas that shows US 79 bypassing the downtown area to the east, and it seems to show US 641 jogging east on Wood Street, ending at the bypass:

Google Maps Street View, May 2012

That's looking east on Wood, where US 641 ended. Straight ahead was northbound US 79, while southbound was to the right on Tyson Avenue. The shot below is looking the opposite direction (west on Wood):

Google Maps Street View, June 2012

That's southbound US 79, which continues to the left on Tyson. Straight ahead on Wood (which is now TN 356) was the original south beginning of US 641.

In 1972, US 641's pointless 65-mile duplex with US 60 was eliminated, and its north end was truncated to its current terminus at US 60 in Marion. This de-legitimized its number, now that it no longer connects to US 41 (I think "US 179" would be better). The photo below is looking north on Main Street:

Reda, 2001

Sometime during the next 10 years, most of the signs on that assembly were replaced:

Morrison, May 2012

US 641 ends at Gum Street, where eastbound US 60 comes in from the left and continues straight ahead. Approaching that intersection from the left on Gum (eastbound US 60), the beginning of US 641 is signed thus:

Morrison, May 2012

US 60 continues to the left on Main, while to the right is the north beginning of US 641. The shots below are looking south on Main, which carries westbound US 60:

left: Morrison, May 2012 -- right: Kasprzyk, Dec. 2010

US 60 continues by turning right on Gum. Traffic moving straight ahead on Main finds itself on the north beginning of US 641. The first confirming assembly is about a block ahead, and is shown in the photo below:

Morrison, May 2012

In 1977 the south end of US 641 was extended to I-40's exit 126, south of Camden TN. This first shot was looking westbound on I-40:

Brooks, Jan. 2005

Exiting there, the signage at the end of the offramp looked like this:

Brooks, Jan. 2005

The south beginning of US 641 was to the right, while the north beginning of TN hwy. 69 was left. Below we're looking south on US 641 at the I-40 interchange:

Hamilton, Oct. 2003

No "End" sign, but ahead the designation changed to TN 69. The approaching truck was about to encounter the sign shown below:

Hamilton, Oct. 2003

That was the first northbound marker (incidentally, the mockingbird symbol denotes one of Tennessee's official scenic routes). Camden is about 15 miles ahead.

At their Nov. 2014 meeting, AASHTO approved Tennessee's request to extend the US 641 designation southward along TN 69, and then TN 114, passing through Clifton and ending at its junction with US 64 just south of there. Prior to this 45-mile extension, the south beginning of what would later become US 641 looked like this:

Google Maps Street View, July 2013

That was looking west on US 64; in Nov. 2015 that route was redesignated as the south beginning of US 641:

Scott, Nov. 2015