Saturday, June 9, 2007

Old Rome Road and a question...

I never know what questions will come into the archives. Today's question was about Old Rome Road, a short local road outside of Dalton, in Whitfield County, Georgia. The researcher said that her mother remembered it as the main road. She wanted to know if Rome Road was the old name for Highway 41. It's difficult to find road names on the 1908 map ~ if there are any. Community names are there, and I think some of the smaller roads have names. The caller said that this had been the main road going through Five Springs years ago.

Even though I haven't located a "Rome Road" on an old map yet, it occurred to me that road names follow a pattern. Here, most road names that have a town name in them are main roads that lead to the town. Five Springs Road leads to Five Springs Community. Cleveland Highway (Highway 71) leads to Cleveland (Tennessee). In Chatsworth, part of US Route 76 is called "Dalton Highway" (leading to Dalton); in Dalton, the same thoroughfare is called "Chatsworth Highway" (main highway leading to Chatsworth). Parts of "old Highway 411" or "Old Dug Gap Road" still exist. It makes sense, then, that the main road leading South out of Dalton would have been called "Rome Road" or "Rome Highway."

To test this theory, I searched the 'Net and found that Sugar Valley and Calhoun have roads called "Old Rome-Dalton Road." Rome, Georgia, has an "Old Dalton Road." This seems to support the idea that the main highway (now 41) was probably called locally, "Old Rome Road," and a segment of it still bears the name. I can't be sure of it, and would like to find it so designated on an old map. I'm going to recheck the 1908 map (road names aren't always apparent on it, though every other landmark is well marked). If anyone has information on this, we would appreciate it!

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