FRANKLIN, Kan. (KSNF) — The Jefferson Highway has been connecting communities across the U.S. and Canada for more than 100 years, including Crawford County in southeast Kansas.

This week marks an annual celebration to reflect on the highway’s history and also where it’s going in the future.

Grape juice, milk, and water were used to christen the highway in a re-dedication ceremony

“Everyone seems to know Route 66 which goes East and West. They’re trying to make this North and South route of Jefferson Highway a tourist attraction just as Route 66,” said Phyllis Bitner, Miner’s Hall Museum Foundation Trustee.

The Jefferson Highway Annual Conference is underway once again in Pittsburg.

“First one we’ve had since 2019, so we’re very excited to be here. We have representatives here from every state on the Jefferson Highway,” said Roger Bell, Jefferson Highway Association President.

On Thursday, the national bus tour stopped in Franklin to take part in a piece of living history. A recreation of the highway’s dedication which originally took place in 1923.

“It’s so much fun. And to have the three young girls, that was what they had back then was three young girls, that broke the bottle and we love that it was milk and grape juice and water because they were too young to christen it with a bottle of champagne or moonshine. So, we’re hoping in the future that people will read about what has happened here and they’ll go ‘Wow! I’d like to travel that highway also,'” said Phyllis Bitner, Miner’s Hall Museum Foundation Trustee.

“It’s an opportunity for us to meet people along the way, and learn a little bit more about each of the different communities that we see. It just adds depth to our experience,” said Mike Curtis, Johnson City Resident.

Jefferson Highway Map Latest Update: 3/21/22 This is a drivable routing of the historic Jefferson Highway from the northern terminus in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada to the southern terminus in New Orleans, Louisiana. To see all or just part of the map you can check or un-check various states and points of interest. Green sections (and occasionally blue sections) are drivable parts of the road. Red sections may or may not be drivable, but they are generally not ‘through’ roads. In other words, you may be able to drive on them for a limited distance, but then you’ll have to turn around and backtrack. 108,439 views Published on March 21 Manitoba, Canada & Minnesota Section 1 – Winnipeg, MB to Glenlea, MB Section 1 – Winnipeg, MB to Glenlea, MB One-Way North Section 2 – Glenlea, MB to Union Point, MB Section 3 – Union Point, MB to St. Jean Baptiste, MB … 55 more Iowa Section 1 – Minnesota State Line to Mason, IA Section 1 – Original Route Section 2 – Mason City, IA to Sheffield, IA Section 2 – One Way North … 21 more Missouri – Kansas Section 1 – Iowa State Line to Bethany, MO Section 1 – Original Route Section 1 – Original Route Section 2w – Bethany, MO to Albany, MO … 87 more Oklahoma Section 1 OK – Kansas State Line to Welch Section 1a – Kansas State Line to US-69 Intersection Section 1a – Possible Route Section 1a – Possible Original Route … 22 more Texas Section 1: Calera, OK to Ambrose, TX Section 1: One Way Northern Route Section 1 Alt: Denison – Bells Section 2: Ambrose – Greenville … 8 more Louisiana Section 1 – Greenwood, LA to Mansfield, LA Section 1a – Downtown Shreveport, LA Section 1a – One-Way South Section 2 – Mansfield, LA to Belmont, LA … 19 more Points of Interest Made with Google My Maps This map was created by a user. Learn how to create your own. Laura McMillan Create new map Open map Shared with you Help Feedback Report inappropriate content Google Drive Embed this map To embed this map in your own website, copy the following HTML and paste it in the source code for your page:

Building on the ongoing effort to preserve the 107-year-old highway and its history.

“Heritage tourism in the country is growing in fascination, internationally. People come from across the world to go to Route 66. But we have a lot of momentum on our highway to make this a tourist highway,” said Roger Bell, Jefferson Highway Association President.

The conference will conclude on Saturday with a parade of cars through downtown Pittsburg, Franklin, and Arma.