Jefferson Highway remembered in Clinton County
The Jefferson Highway was the subject of a special program at the Clinton County Historical Society in Plattsburg Thursday night November 21st. Stan Hendrix from Cameron’s Depot Museum discussed the historic Highway that a century ago connected Winnipeg in Canada with New Orleans and traveled through Cameron and Plattsburg on its way.
The Museum in Plattsburg had a full house of guests learning and talking about the historic roadway. Many of those attending, live on or close to the original route that wound its way through Clinton County on what are now gravel roads.
One of the highlights of the meeting was when Charnett Norton
displayed her original, 100 year old Jefferson Highway Road sign.
Charnett’s family farm is on a gravel road north of Plattsburg that
was part of the highway’s original alignment. She remembers her
father finding and keeping the sign since the 1950s. Hendrix says,
“original Jefferson Highway signs are almost as rare to find as a
Burma Shave sign”. The Museum in Plattsburg also has an
original sign on display. To have two of the original signs in the
same place is incredibly rare.
People attending the program had a chance to see and hear about the strong community efforts to attract this international highway decades before I35, highway 116, 33 or 169.
In 1915 the residents of Plattsburg were instrumental in promoting the highway and ensuring that it came through the commercial district of their town. By the 1930s, the state and federal government were numbering the highways, so the name Jefferson Highway soon became just a memory.
Terry Wood of the Clinton County Historical Society said this is one of several presentations that they are providing for area folks interested in local history. Both the Clinton County Historical Society and the Cameron Depot Museum are available on Facebook and are great resources for area history facts.