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The Jefferson Highway

Greetings and Salutations:

Make yourselves comfortable and grab a cup so we can get caught up on the ongoings of Gear Con. Made me a trip up to McAlester Oklahoma and ended up getting a bit of an education. Now as a proud Okie I grew up with Route 66 being the Mother Road and knowing the value it has had in shaping our nation. Little did I know that it had an even older and equally important counterpart in the Form of The Jefferson Highway which ran from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada all the way through to New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Jefferson Road was named after President Thomas Jefferson. It's original route was finalized in December of 1916. The starting point in New Orleans is on the intersection of Common Street and St. Charles Avenue. Pictured below is an Obelisk to mark that spot.

Sadly four short years later, it would be replaced with a series of numbered Routes which still comprised the same route, some even overlapping with the aforementioned Mother Road. Jefferson Highway follows the same path as the Missouri, Kansas, and Texas Railroad (MKT). The MKT itself served as an important supply road for Union soldiers fighting in Texas. Since we have unfortunately mentioned Texas the MKT followed an even older cattle trail up from Texas.

Now why is that of any concern to you folks? It just so happens that this historic highway passes through McAlester the new home to Gear Con's Steampunk Stampede. There will be quiet a few well-planned changes to make this truly Oklahoma's Steampunk Destination. Looking forward to not only seeing old friends but new faces as we continue to grow and improve.

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