Dusting Off the Old Ones was published in 1961 by W. B. Clarke, Miles City, Montana.
Improvement in our Highways
It was not until about 1930 that oil or paved highways became a "must" in Montana. Several communities have claimed the first oiled or paved highway in Montana since city streets were paved long before highways were even being considered for paving. The first concrete highway built in the state was the "super-highway" connecting Butte and Anaconda. This was completed in 1920, and motorists came many miles to experience the thrill of driving on this newest of roadbeds. But, let's think about the roads that we had prior to 1920 and during the twenties. Portions of the main roads leading into Miles City would be graveled, which made those portions "navigable" during a wet spell--others were spread with a layer of scorio, that red rock substance in the Pine Hills. The scorio made a smoother road than did the gravel and did not become "washboardy" so quickly. "Shade Tree Bill" recollects that there was a short stretch of scorio road on SL Creek, on the way to Broadus--what a gift from heaven that was in wet weather. Then there was another stretch between Plevna and Baker on what is now called Highway 12. This was longer than the one on SL Creek.

How many of you readers remember trying to drive across the Shirley Flat, east of Miles City, or across the Hathaway Flat, west of Miles City, in rainy weather--quite an experience wasn't it? Most of the highways in the state were named in those days rather than numbered as they are at the present time. Perhaps the one most distinctly remembered by the inhabitants of eastern Montana is the "Yellowstone Trail", now U. S. Highway 12. It is claimed that the Yellowstone Trail was marked from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine, but few could find the marks, as these marks consisted of a blotch of yellow painted on fence posts, trees, telephone poles, and even on rocks along the route, which is quite a contrast to the well marked oiled roads of this day.