Fast -- Even Today

Auto Travel 1910 - 1914

The village of Mackay's streets saw some of their first automobile traffic in about 1910 and in following years the number of cars in the area increased dramatically. Dealerships sprang up overnight with railroad cars loaded with this new mode of transportation coming to Mackay on a regular basis. Unfortunately, road and highway construction in the area did not keep pace with this influx of four wheeled machines, and by the late 1920's with the increase in cars and trucks came the demand for more and better roads and highways.

An article in the June 18, 1914 issue of the Mackay Miner reported a record trip from Blackfoot to Mackay by one of Mackay's most distinguished citizens, lawyer Chas. Clark. He proudly claimed to have covered the 102 miles, over the then unimproved stage route, in 4 hours and 20 minutes. WOW?

What a difference 13 years would make with a straighter and improved roadway! In the March 30, 1927 issue of the "Mackay Miner" there appeared an article concerning the same road from Mackay to Blackfoot. This federal post road, as it was the called, had just been recently improved, graded and graveled and was touted as being one of the best roads in the entire area and was sure to lead to a tremendous increase in tourists to our little valley and point North. Why, authorities said, "it was very possible for some "speed demon" to make the trip from Blackfoot to Mackay in as little as 2 1/2 hours, a distance of 92 miles". They didn't realize what and pessimistic prediction that was to be.

For in the Miner's very next edition on April 6th it was reported that the Miner office had a visit from a linotype salesman who exclaimed as he drove up in his Packard sedan, "Why believe it or not, it has been just 1 hour and 45 minutes since I left Blackfoot and if thta ain't goin some, tell some of your "speed demons" to get out and try for a better record. Yes, you can tell the world you now have a highway "speedway" into this central Idaho paradise".


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