Need help editing articles? Start out with the new Introduction to Editing Articles Video.
Old State Road 37
Old Highway 37 is the current name of the two lane road that uses the old path of Highway 37. From Bloomington, this road starts at the terminus next to the Steak 'n Shake on north College Avenue. Heading north, it curves around Lower Cascades before intersecting Walnut Street at a stop light. The road continues on from there without stopping until it reaches State Road 37 just south of Martinsville. Going south it starts at the south end of Walnut Street where there is a stoplight. This section of the road goes to Bedford where it turns into Peerless Road.
This road is also called Old Martinsville Road and at one point was probably just called Martinsville Road.
Throughout Indiana and the rest of the nation there are series of "old" highways that are made from the routes that highways took in the past, before they were upgraded to change with the times. Highway 37 is now a 4 lane highway as it goes through Monroe County. But earlier generations of this highway were 2 lane and even where simple roads for stagecoaches. Sometimes, you can even find these "old old" roads running close to the "old" roads. The roads were adjusted as it became possible to carve out hills, became easier to build bridges, etc. A good example of this is U.S. Highway 30 (the Lincoln Highway) in the northern part of the state, where many of these segments of the "Old 30" are still in use as residential streets (often with the name "Lincolnway") or are still visible along-side the newer right-of-way.
Old Highway 37 is no exception to these changes. In some places on the north side of Bloomington this old route is called Old Martinsville Road. Old Martinsville Road is probably part of the 1st generation of the route.
In 1915, at the urging of Indianapolis businessman Carl G. Fisher (founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and "Father of the Dixie Highway"  ), the Dixie Highway was established to connect Chicago to Florida. The course traversed State Road 37 through Monroe County. It would be interesting if anyone knows of the presence of any of the "DH" signs or monuments that were often erected along the route.