From humble beginnings to great lengths
US 83 was among the inaugural routes of 1926. But at the time, and for the next couple years, it was a very short route -- only about 170 miles long -- running between the capital cities of the two Dakotas:
However, by the early 1930s the US 83 designation had been extended not only north to the Canada border, but all the way down to the Mexico border too. This increased US 83's distance to nearly 1900 miles, and made it one of the longest north-south US routes. Additionally, as a result of US 83's new role as a trunk route, three newer US routes were numbered as branches of US 83. Two of these soon became quite lengthy themselves, and they still exist (US 183 and US 283). Just as these highways intertwine with each other, their history is also interrelated. This article examines the evolution of US 83, as well as the x83 routes that are part of its "family".
Vintage highway sign photos
In 2009 my father and my uncle found these photos -- taken by my paternal grandfather during the 1950s -- and gave them to me, knowing I would appreciate them. That was about 20 years after I had begun taking road sign photos of my own, and until then I had the mistaken notion that I was the first in my family to have this strange hobby. Is it possible that this sort of thing can be passed down through bloodlines?