Your best route to small town news and living!

Welcome to Old State Highway!

Old State Highway is a website focusing on rural America and all the beautiful small towns and villages accross this great country. As I searched for an appropriate name for this site., and remembered that growing up in a small town, one of the things that happened, shortly before my time, was the advent of the U.S. Interstate system and the building of interstate highways , which for the most part bypassed the small towns that had been part of the state highway systems. The old highways were most appropriately re-named Old State Highway along with the number. It’s true that not all small towns in America are on old state highway routes, but the point is that they are generally off the beaten path.

Many people have mistaken ideas about small towns, that small town people are gossipy, uneducated, hillbillies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most families have their origins in small communities and farming. We were once a rural nation, and not that long ago. I work on genealogy research and all you have to do is look at the old census records from the 1800s. Most men were engaged in farming or occupations ancillary to farming. And the women's occupation was most frequently listed as” keeping house”. Keeping house, by the way meant taking care of a large family, cooking and preparing food without running water, electricity and appliances. We all know whats happened during all these years, with the growth of cities, new technolgies and the mechanization of farming. As farms became more mechanized, the need for labor decreased, and many small communities lost population as the country industrialized, people migrated to larger population centers, in search of economic opportunity. There are thousands of small, rural communities across this country, and they face many of the same problems that everyone faces in these times, income opportunities, health care, illegal drugs, housing, and yes even gun violence. Old State Highway intends to focus on some of these issues, and what solutions some small communities have come up with to solve. The focus here will not be just on the past, but on the future of small towns. Many of these towns will have to re-invent themselves to thrive. Let me be clear, by thriving I don’t mean huge population growth. People live in small towns because they don’t want to live in big cities. They want the traffic, the “rat race”, the annymitty. They want to know who they are dealing with. I heard someone say some years ago, If you want to get lost, go live in a big city. If you want to find yourself go live in a small town. How true this is. Sebastian Junger, in his book “Tribe On Homecoming and Belonging” stated “A person living in a modern city or suburb can, for the first time in history, go through an entire day-----or an entire life-----mosty encountering complete strangers. They can be surrounded by others and yet feel deeply, dangerously alone.” (by the way, this book is available on Amazon if your interested, lots of good ideas). In a small town, where everyone knows everyone, your going to run into people you know every day, yes there’s gossip, but there is also caring and concern. You are unlikely to get ripped off by any merchant. In small towns, your integrity and reputation is everything, start cheating people and you wont last long. Back some time ago, some friends and business associates of mine sold out, and moved from San Diego to a much smaller town in Utah. Shortly after buying a new home there, they had problems with their furnace. They called a company and the person they sent, fixed it in about two minutes, a minor problem he said. When they ask him what the bill was, he said, no charge. I was on my way home anyway, and this just took a few minutes. My friend couldn’t believe it, he said that would never happen in San Diego. That is so true, and it’s not that people are better in small towns, but sometimes cities are rat races, and the pressure is so great, that every-one is looking for that one more buck to make ends meet. Chances are in a city, you will see a person you only do business with one time. You won’t see them at your childs school activities, or church, or the post office. In small towns your going to run into people you know every day, At work, at play, and yes, the post office.

Happy Trails

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Old State Highway is still under construction, and remember, traffic fines are doubled in a construction zone.

Your Town.

If you want your town listed on Old State Highway, write up a short biography of your town along with interesting facts and information. Your name will be listed as the writer.