Road Trips

A new Web site for the Historic Michigan Road

The Historic Michigan Road Association has a new Web site at On it you’ll find information about the road’s history and many of the fun things you can do and see along the route.

Shiny new Historic Michigan Road Web site

The HMRA is moving slowly but surely toward our vision of driving heritage tourism along the entire Michigan Road. Now that the road is signed along (almost) all the route, we can start directing travelers along it to the attractions and events along it. You’ll find information on the site about some of those things to do, and we will add more in time to make it a comprehensive guide to Michigan Road fun.

But we haven’t taken away the information about the Michigan Road’s place in Indiana history. Our hearts beat for historic preservation in the HMRA, and we support preserving both the route and the historic buildings that dot it.

I built the new site on, which has become a great way to quickly and inexpensively build a Web site. Did you know that WordPress powers more than 25% of the Web? lets me add content to the site quickly and easily. It makes the site automatically scale to whatever device you’re viewing it on: desktop, tablet, or phone. And’s system administrators do all the backend maintenance so I don’t have to.

This replaces an older, static HTML site that I built in Microsoft FrontPage. It was great as an online calling card when we were still working to have the road named an Indiana historic byway, and it worked sort of well enough for the first year or two afterward while we organized the HMRA and got our first initiatives underway. But now that we’re ready to really lean into our heritage-tourism mission, I’m not sad to see it go.

Goodbye, static HTML site; be relegated to the digital dustbin

13 thoughts on “A new Web site for the Historic Michigan Road

  1. Bill Bussell says:

    Your blog, and passion on this topic, is fascinating. We made many family trips to Chicago in the 50’s. The trips revolved around visiting my great aunt. She lived on the 15th floor of an apartment building about 6100 Sheridan Road. A public beach on the lake was easy to access. They found a way to build high-rise apartments on the beach. I assume we used US 31 most of the time, but maybe Michigan Road. My dad is gone, so I cannot bounce the question off to him. In more recent times, I have taken routes to avoid tolls entering Chicago. I have a back-road route. It may be more dangerous than getting on the Dan Ryan, but I think it is a toss up. You should take a drive into Chicago and visit Central Camera. It has been in business since 1899. There used to be other unusual camera stores in Chicago, but they are mostly gone. Cheers

    • There’s no great way to get to Chicago, is there? I’m making a trip in April and I’m just resigned to the toll roads. From South Bend, where I grew up, I’d just take the South Shore train. It was so much easier.

      • Bill Bussell says:

        Indianapolis Blvd. to 41 into South Lakeshore Dr. (41). Another option is free parking at Dunes Station, and ride in on the South Shore.

        • Bill Bussell says:

          If you do this right, you will drive past St. Michael The Archangel Church. I know this route without a map, and I may not have given you all the pieces. Just as safe as other routes in daylight. Slightly more industrial, but you will be along the lake’s edge for a good while.

        • I’ve done the 41 route. It’s a nice drive if the traffic isn’t too bad. I wish there were South Shore trains running late at night, as I’m going to Chicago in a couple weeks to see a concert and it won’t end until probably 10 pm. I’d so park at Dunes Station and take the train otherwise.

        • Don’t mind a bit. A free theme, Pique, which has that scrolling front page built in. I did buy WordPress Premium, though, to give me the ability to use our URL, to let me customize the look and feel, and to get rid of ads. I haven’t done anything with the CSS yet, and may not, but I did switch out the default fonts.

        • Raina Regan says:

          That’s great to know! I know a few preservation groups are looking update their website and I wanted to show them yours as an example, because it is great!

  2. Greetings from the digital dustbin. Nice job on the site. Although I know the line beyond which it isn’t justified keeps advancing, I give up each bit of control with reluctance. I use WordPress for a portion of my “work” and know it as a wonderful and powerful thing. There are bunches of reasons for using it and you are benefiting from many of them. Good move and good work with the HMR on the web and on the ground.

    • I give up control with glee. I have about zero interest in writing my own code anymore. But I don’t mind being a power user and writing a little bridge code to make an existing platform do what I want it to. I was so glad when I found that WordPress theme as I knew I could adapt it to work.

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