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Roads are often only thought of as a means of transportation, but sometimes the destination can be found on any map and can only be reached through the journey itself. 27 is one of those roads that was erased by the interstate but replaced with travelers who want to experience the historic and nostalgic route of yesteryear. Highway System in 1926, the route runs from the border of Michigan and Indiana north through cities like Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Clare, and ends in downtown Cheboygan.

In its heyday, it was considered the north south version of the iconic Route 66 when drivers could cruise all the way from Michigan Upper Peninsula to the Florida peninsula.

During the past decade, it has undergone a sort of renaissance and was officially declared a historic road in the state of Michigan by the House of Representative in August 2010.

A primary catalyst in the route revival has much to do with the renewed exposure from popular events such as the annual motor tour.

Craig Parrish, who first organized the event almost 10 years ago, is one of the road biggest promoters and strongest voices.

In fact, Parrish was one of the first people to reach out to the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) back in the early 2000s and ask about what steps could be done to revitalize the road.

MDOT informed him that most of the road was no longer owned by the state. Instead, cities,
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townships, and counties had ownership and control of the vast majority. 27 to be considered a historically designated road he would need to go to all the local governments involved and obtain signatures of approval from at least 80 percent of them.

That exactly what he did.

went to almost every city and county, went to meetings, and met with chamber and tourism directors and everybody signed up, said Parrish. can recall one city that didn sign up. MDOT thought it was amazing. 27 Motor Tour.

Last year event had almost 500 cars, and anybody who knows basic math realizes that many people visiting the small towns littered along the way means a huge increase in overnight revenue.

That the main goal for people like Parrish and other local business owners who are trying to promote the tourism aspect to boost local economies as well as preserve history.

Greg Rynearson, owner of Cops Doughnuts in Clare, has helped in the ongoing process of turning Old 27 into a heritage route by recruiting other area businesses to be involved in promotion and by working with MDOT to put up official signage.

lot of these towns have been crushed by the economy and, quite frankly, the interstate, said Parrish. want to bring people back to these towns on the old road to have fun and get them into local shops and restaurants. 27 has a lot of potential to rival the popularity of Route 66.

Parrish may know best considering he traveled Route 66 more than 35 times and said 20 to 25 years ago it was dead in the water. highway because of the interstate. So it was dispersed to the states and counties to be taken care of and they couldn do it because tourists were passing the businesses up using the interstate, he said.
mulburry bag Historic route