This is one of several caches I have placed along the route of the historic Yellowstone Trail. The trail is a historic motor route that went across Wisconsin from 1918 to 1930. The Wisconsin portion of the Yellowstone Trail is 406 miles long, starting at the state line south of Kenosha and going north, and then west to Hudson.
The Wisconsin segment is just a part of one of America’s first transcontinental auto routes, a 3,754-mile long road that started in Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts and went to Puget Sound, Washington.
Before there were numbered highways in the United States there were names attached to roads to help motorists navigate from town to town or from county to county. Hailed as being “A Good Road from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound,” the Yellowstone Trail began as a 25-mile stretch of road near Ipswitch, South Dakota. In October 1912, Mr. J. W. Parmley formed the Yellowstone Trail Association. By 1917 the Yellowstone Trail had grown to become the main auto route for those travelling from the East Coast to Yellowstone National Park and the Pacific Northwest.
While the Association did not build roads, it did lobby local governments in towns along the Trail to help promote the fledgling automobile tourism industry by building and maintaining “good roads.” Trail towns paid the Association a small fee or “assessment” to help cover advertising expenses and upkeep of the Trail.
November 20, 2005 update: In the 1920's many towns along the Yellowstone Trail had a representative known as a “Trailman”, whose duties included providing information to travelers along the way. In the 1919 Yellowstone Trail route folder, Trailmen were described as being “…businessmen of standing in their communities, and will always be glad to welcome tourists and serve them in any reasonable manner.” Uncle Fun has offered to serve as the trailman for the Yellowstone caches in this area.
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