Adventures while walking about Auburn, Alabama and its environs...
24 July 2016

Where The Streets Have Old Names

One thing that absolutely fascinates me (and probably would bore most people if they ever thought about it) is how the names of streets can hint at the history of a city. For example, whenever I find a street that is "broken" (that is, interrupted by a building or other feature but then resumes elsewhere, with the same name) I have to wonder, "Why wasn't the disconnected road given a separate name?"

Also, there are several roads in Auburn apparently named after mills (Old Mill Road, Moores Mill Road, Shelton Mill Road, Parkerson Mill, Wrights Mill Road). Where were these mills originally? Only the last of these is well documented (it was near present day Chewacla State Park). What about the others? They must have been fairly prominent structures/businesses at one point if the roads were named after them, right? But, these days, I have no clue where the mills actually were.

Another curiosity of street names: whenever I see one that begins with "Old". A perfect example of this is "Old Wrights Mill Road" which branches off of Wrights Mill Road itself:

Why does this spur exist? Why was the "new" Wrights Mill Road created? What was wrong with the original (which, I assume, did not initially have the "Old" prefix)?

I'm fairly confident that this answer is obvious: the introduction of the interstate highway to the area.

Before I-85 came through the area, Wrights Mill Road looked like this (I've highlighted a portion of a map taken from ):

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