Discover the Fun Along Old Highway 61!
…That is the message representatives from nine chambers of commerce and 15 cities in three counties are encouraging others to help send.
U.S. Highway 61, also known as the “Blues Highway” was one of the original highways constructed within the U.S. highway system. Built in 1926, the 1,400-mile roadway extended from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada until 1990 when it was retired from north of Wyoming, Minn., to near Duluth as its alignment was concurrent with I-35. Through three counties–Chisago, Pine and Carlton–the highway was decommissioned (no Historic or “Old” U.S. Highway 61). In 2012, at the suggestion of a Chisago County commissioner, “Old Hwy 61” signs were purchased to place along the corridor in those three counties. This acknowledgement of the importance of Old Hwy 61 gained momentum when a coalition formed to raise awareness and highlight the value of Old Hwy 61 to increase tourism and promote local economies through a collaborative, consistent message.
“The mission of the Old Highway 61 Coalition is to promote and preserve Old Highway 61 within Carlton, Pine and Chisago counties.”
The mission will be accomplished by:
- Enhancing economic development through historic, recreational and commercial opportunities
- Developing regional marketing and branding to enhance tourism
- Providing effective collaboration while maintaining the individual identity of each community