Building Gravel Roads — “Highway West 65”

In the 20s and 30s, mud roads became outdated by the arrival of the automobiles. Gravel roads became a must. State funds were now utilized to establish rock quarries. At one time, Daviess County utilized 47 men to work on a seven mile stretch of road. A Gallatin quarry employed 50 men and crushed eight loads of stone daily. Two shifts of men were utilized for a five day work week of six hours. Daily. Other quarries were opened at Pattonsburg and Jamesport.

In the 20s and 30s, mud roads became outdated by the arrival of the automobiles. Gravel roads became a must. State funds were now utilized to establish rock quarries. At one time, Daviess County utilized 47 men to work on a seven mile stretch of road. A Gallatin quarry employed 50 men and crushed eight loads of stone daily. Two shifts of men were utilized for a five day work week of six hours. Daily. Other quarries were opened at Pattonsburg and Jamesport.

In 1934, Daviess County started construction on a 26 mile stretch of road designated to become Highway West 65. An estimated 237 men would be utilized for five months, and unemployment would then drop to a low ebb. This highway was later given the name Highway 13.

A contract was let for the grading of 6 highway for 22.5 miles, or from Gallatin to the Cameron Junction. Camps would be established at suitable points since the project would take five to six months. The first camps to be established would be two and four miles from Gallatin. To do the project, 40 dump wagons, two caterpillar trucks, two blade graders and approximately 100 mules would be utilized as well as a large labor force.

The demand for crushed rock continued to skyrocket. By late 1935, Grand River Township purchased a new crusher which was said to be one of the latest models and therefore one of the most efficient crushers. It was claimed the new machine had a capacity of ten to fifteen yards of rock per hour, which meant 150 yards of paving rock per day.

Reprinted from The Jameson Gem, Feb. 8, 1934: “Hwy. 13 Passing through Jameson; Machines, Men and Mules” — researched by Wilbur Bush, Gallatin (2004)