New book takes ride along old West Mich. Pike

The West Michigan Pike was a 400-mile meandering ribbon of road, hugging the coast of Lake Michigan from Michigan City, Ind., north to Mackinaw City, and passing through many small beach towns along the way. Its 1913 slogan, "Lakeshore All the Way,' sums up the main feature of this gem of a travel route. The road was sometimes called Michigan's Route 66.
Tribune Staff
Aug 4, 2011


In their new book, “Vintage Views Along the West Michigan Pike: From Sand Trails to US-31,” seasoned authors M. Christine Byron and Thomas R. Wilson tell the story of this road’s early beginning as serpentine sand trails and rutted dirt pathways, and its transformation to U.S. 31 used by today’s traveler.

“Actually, road improvement was first sought by bicyclists, a craze that swept the country in the 1880s,” explained Byron, a Grand Rapids librarian. “It was the Michigan Wheelmen, an association of bicyclists, who campaigned the (state) Legislature to allow each county to adopt a county road system. That really got the ball rolling for road improvement.”

The book is available through independent booksellers, chain bookstores and online. It is the fourth book in the “Vintage View” series.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.


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