The Old Spanish Trail
Launched in 1915 in Mobile, Alabama as a connector route between New Orleans and Florida, the Old Spanish Trail (OST) soon expanded to a transcontinental trail, linking St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California. Begun with a bang, progress on the highway stalled in the late teens due to the war and the considerable expense of building bridges across the numerous waterways emptying into the Gulf. After several years of near inactivity, the highway project shifted west to Texas, and took on new vigor. Under the direction of Harral Ayres, Managing Director, the Old Spanish Trail Association successfully brought the highway to completion in 1929. The lure of the OST continued to captivate travelers until the early 1960s, when new interstates redirected traffic off the old road.