In the beginning, there were animal trails, and the aboriginal peoples followed those and made their own. Then the white folk came in and drove out the original inhabitants, but kept to their trails, which eventually became roads. This used to be the main road between Greeneville and points west. You can tell because it’s called Old Stage Road.
Fall Creek cuts under the railroad and flows across the edge of a flat bottomed field until it disappears under a road I’ve known by more names than I can remember. Now it’s called Warrensburg Road, but I never knew it by that name as a kid running over the bubbling, hot tar surface, trying to avoid stepping on snakes stuck in the asphalt and squished flat by the daily passage of cars and trucks on their way to and from the highway.
This is the road I lived on for nearly all of my childhood. It’s now called Warrensburg Road, presumably because it ran between Russellville and Warrensburg, a town I never knew existed until the road was named for it. That’s been fairly recently. It was called either Three Springs Road or Fall Creek Road back in the day.
When new roads are built, the old ones need names. In the case of numbered highways, the name often becomes “Old Highway Such-and-Such.” But if it’s prior to the use of numbered roads, and, say, maybe the new road is being built because the old one just isn’t working for automobiles, the old one gets a name like “Stagecoach Road,” because that’s what ran on it.
Before there was US11E, Russellville had a Main Street. It’s a block north of the highway, which ate up a street once called Chestnut. My family’s stores were down there, the old library/community meeting space, homes, and past the hill that rises up to the north with the other streets of the town (somebody please […]