Mendenhall’s Road Map & Route Book of Indiana


Scarce turn of the century road map of Indiana showing the roads prior to the widespread use of the automobile.

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C.S. Mendenhall issued road maps of several U.S. states in the early years of the 20th century, primarily in the Midwest. Although the automobile had been invented, it was expensive and its use was not widespread. Therefore the primary consumers of these maps were bicyclists and travelers by carriage. Roads were primitive and varied greatly in quality – only two different types (pike roads and main bicycle routes) are labeled here, but later maps would list several different surfaces. Only three “main routes” are shown connecting Indiana to other states; the state road to St. Louis, the National Road to St. Louis, and a connection to the Dixie Highway leading to Chicago. An inset map of Marion county closely mimics today’s interstate maps.

Bicyclists would ultimately play a critical role in “paving the way” for automobile travel – they (and farmers eager to get their product to market) heavily lobbied local and state governments for funding for road improvements in the early 20th century.

Map Details

Publication Date: 1901

Author: C.S. Mendenhall

Sheet Width (in): 20.75

Sheet Height (in): 29.5

Condition: B

Condition Description: The map is in good condition. Color is somewhat faded from sun exposure, and tearing along the left edge has resulted in some image loss in the inset map. Better than many institutional copies.