Most of the Dixie Highway route in Georgia remained unpaved but maintained by county-owned motor graders through World War I. The state’s first motor fuel tax, one cent per gallon, passed in 1921, with funds directed toward road construction. Two years later the tax was increased to three cents per gallon. Georgia’s portion of the Dixie Highway would not be completely paved until 1939.
All along the highway through the state, travelers fed the local economies when they stopped at tourist camps, gas stations, fruit and pecan stands, souvenir shops, restaurants, and other businesses.
“Before my father bought his first tractor, they did everything with mules. When they had a job away from town, the crew lived in tents and just stayed at the job. They had a cook shack and a cook. Feeding the people well was very important. When I was young I loved to go to the camp and eat breakfast with the men. The cook made great scrambled eggs and biscuits and gravy. Even in the Depression we had fifty mules and probably about thirty guys who lived in tents. Wherever jobs went they took tents and went and set up camp.
“I remember the first Caterpillar tractor Daddy bought. It was a Twenty or a Thirty diesel. You cranked a little engine that would start the big engine. The Cat®had such a big, heavy engine, you needed a powerful starter.” — Harold Shepherd, Shepherd Construction
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Foundations 1914 - 1938