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Southern Appalachian Good Roads

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The Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co. Cincinnati, O. Military and Society Goods

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The Good Roads Movement started in the 1880’s with the formation of the League of American Wheelmen who were bicycle enthusiasts and cycling club members that came together to promote bicycle touring. The organization soon expanded to include a national campaign for the construction of paved roads to aid in smooth riding.

In 1909, Good Roads Associations in the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee decided to call a convention to discuss questions of construction and maintenance of good roads as it was thought that no section in the South was in greater need of improved roads than the Southern Appalachian region. By the end of the convention it was decided to make the organization permanent and the Southern Appalachian Good Roads Association was born.

The group held conventions and public demonstrations as well as published materials to promote the benefits of good roads and influence legislation. In 1916, the 8th annual convention of the Southern Appalachian Good Roads Association was held in Lexington, Kentucky, where members discussed federal aid to states for road construction, the maintenance of highways, the use of prison labor in highway construction, and the construction of national highways. The advocacy efforts of Good Roads Associations across America ultimately led to the National Highway System.

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