Highways & Trails of the WPA

WPA Tour #9

Highways & Trails of the WPA

Auto tour #9 of the WPA guide to North Dakota roughly followed the original route of US Highway 12, which roughly followed the old Yellowstone Trail, which roughly paralleled the Milwaukee Railroad. Retraced in the 21st century by the NDSU Center for Heritage Renewal, it services as a guide to independent travelers of the heritage landscape of southwest North Dakota.

View WPA Tour #9 in a larger map

The map above references Flickr sets of photographs depicting heritage features of the region. Help us out, and boost the interest for browsers and travelers, with some crowd-sourcing of historical and current data on these features! Use the comment feature of Flickr to add information and value to the sets of photographs.

The original (1938) description of this auto tour reads as follows:

(McIntosh, S. Dak.) - Hettinger - Bowman - Marmarth - (Miles City, Mont.). US 12. South Dakota Line to Montana Line, 94 m. Milwaukee R. R. parallels route. Graveled roadbed. Accommodations in principal towns.

US 12 cuts across the southwestern corner of North Dakota through an area where herds of cattle and flocks of sheep graze on the hardy prairie grasses that grow in the small valleys between high, rough, brown mesa-topped buttes. The day of the pioneer homesteader and rancher is barely in the past here, and only within recent years has diversified farming gradually been adopted. Near its western end the route passes through the southern part of the Badlands, a strange land of fantastic enchantment where ever-changing combinations of color and shadow form a background of weird beauty.

Full Text of Tour 9 WPA Guide to North Dakota 1938

WPA Map of Tour #9

Want to talk about your experiences traveling the heritage landscape of North Dakota? Check out Heritage Trails, the Facebook group for independent travelers established by the Center for Heritage Renewal.

Center for Heritage Renewal