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M-22 & M-109 junction route signage in Glen Arbor, Michigan
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M-49 Route Marker On to Next Route:
Southern Terminus:    Ohio state line (connection with SR-49) 3.8 miles south of downtown Camden
Northern Terminus:    Litchfield at M-99 (cnr Chicago St & Marshall St)
Length: 25.456 miles
Maps: Route Map of M-49
Notes: M-49 is a "numerical continuation" of Ohio's SR-49. The Ohio route begins in Dayton and continues up the west side of that state before it connects with M-49 at the state line.
  As originally designated in 1930, the modern-day route of M-49 was originally intended by state transportation officials as a new routing for M-99 (then designated M-9) from Litchfield in northwest Hillsdale Co and proceeding directly south through Reading and Camden to the Ohio state line. In the plans released in late-September 1930, only limited information is given as to the status of the existing M-9 route from Litchfield through Jonesville and Hillsdale to the Ohio line southeast of Frontier. The segment from Hillsdale via Frontier to the Ransom area was scheduled to be turned back to local control and a new trunkline heading northerly from the Ransom area to M-34 at Osseo was authorized, likely with a new route designation. (Interestingly, this new trunkline route from Ransom to Osseo was cancelled five years later, only to be re-authorized in the mid-1960s and is the present-day route of M-99 through southern Hillsdale Co!) Oddly enough, within a year, the new M-9 route was instead marked as M-49 and M-9 (and later M-99) continued to travel through Jonesville and Hillsdale on its way toward Ohio.
  In "State Trunkline Needs, 1960–1980," a set of maps prepared by the State Highway Dept's Office of Planning, Programming Division in 1960 showing possible additions, upgrades and improvements to the state trunkline system over the ensuing twenty years, MSHD staff recommended one very profound change to the route of M-49 during that timeframe. SImply put, it felt its existence as a state trunkline highway was not justified and recommended turning the entire route, as it existed in 1960, back to local control. Seeing as M-49 still exists along the alignment it followed in 1960, it's clear this recommendation was never implemented.
History: 1914 (Feb 18) – A 35.95-mile long state trunkline route is officially established across the southern tier of townships in Livingston and Ingham Co and given the designation of T.L. 49 (Trunk Line 49). Beginning at T.L. 65 (later M-65, now US-23) in the hamlet of Whitmore Lake on the Livingston/Washtenaw Co boundary and continues westerly along 8 Mile Rd, northerly via Lemen Rd, northwesterly along 9 Mile Rd and Spicer Rd to the Hamburg area, then northerly via Hamburg Rd, westerly along present-day M-36 through Lakeland to the Pettysville area, southerly via Henry Rd, westerly along Hooker Rd, continuing westerly via present-day M-36 to the eastern village limit of Pinckney. T.L. 49 re-commences on the western limit of Pinckney and continues westerly along present-day M-36 to Gregory, then southwesterly via Holmes Rd (present-day M-106), westerly along Doyle Rd, then northerly and westerly on Morton Rd into Ingham Co to the eastern village limit of Stockbridge. From the western limit of Stockbridge at Stockbridge Rd, T.L. 49 commences again and continues westerly along Morton Rd, southerly and westerly via Heeney Rd, southerly on Parman Rd, westerly again via Fitchburg Rd through Fitchburg, terminating on the eastern village limit of Leslie.
  1914 (June 24) – Just four months after being established, the route of T.L. 49 in southeastern Livingston Co is altered. The segment of the trunkline running along Lemen Rd from 8 Mile Rd to 9 Mile Rd, then via 9 Mile Rd and Spicer Rd westerly to Hamburg Rd is transferred to local control. In its place, 8 Mile Rd from Lemen Rd westerly to Hall Rd, then along an unconstructed roadway from there to Old Hamburg Rd, northerly via Old Hamburg Rd to Hamburg Rd and northerly along Hamburg Rd to the Ann Arbor Railroad crossing in the community of Hamburg where the trunkline designation "pauses." (The segment of Hamburg Rd through "downtown" Hamburg remains a locally-controlled roadway at this point.) The new routing increases the length of T.L. 49 by 0.6 mile.
  1920 (Apr 15–30) – T.L. 49 is signed in the field as M-49 as all state trunkline highways in Michigan are signed with route markers during the last two weeks of April. The two gaps in the trunkline through the villages of Pinckney and Stockbridge are signed as M-49 but is not officially under state jurisdiction at this point. Additionally, the 13.4-mile long segment of T.L. 49 from the west limit of Stockbridge across southern Ingham Co to the east limit of Leslie is likely cancelled as a state trunkline route by this point. MSHD Trunkline Determination maps carry the note, "No Date of Cancellation" for this section of what had been established as part of T.L. 49 in 1914. The official state trunkline highway map issued by the MSHD on July 1, 1919 omits the Stockbridge–Leslie route, instead showing a disconnected route for M-49 beginning at M-14 (later US-127) in downtown Mason and running easterly along present-day M-36 to Dansville, in addition to the existing route from Stockbridge easterly to Whitmore Lake. According to various sources, M-49 is likely signed along Dexter Trail from Dansville Rd on the east side of Mason southeasterly to Milner Rd, then easterly via Milner Rd and then southerly along Stockbridge Rd to the west limits of Stockbridge, where it turns easterly via its existing route toward Gregory and Pinckney.
  1920 (Dec 1) – The 1.21 miles of Main St through the village of Pinckney in southern Livingston Co—signed as part of M-49 since trunkline route markers have been posted in the last year or so—is officially established as a trunkline route and transferred from municipal to state control.
  1920 (Dec 2) – Reflecting its realignment to Mason via Dansville, 9.25 miles of new trunkline route is officially established beginning at the cnr of Ash St & Jefferson St in downtown Mason, continuing easterly out of city along Dansville Rd into downtown Dansville where it turns southerly via Jackson St-Williamston Rd to a terminus at Dexter Trail. The "marked-and-maintained" route of M-49 continues from that point via county-maintained Dexter Trail, Milner Rd and Stockbridge Rd into Stockbridge.
  1921 (Mar 29) – The 1.25 miles of Main St through the village of Stockbridge in southeastern Ingham Co—signed as part of M-49 since trunkline route markers have been posted in the last year or so—is officially established as a trunkline route and transferred from municipal to state control.
  1921 (Aug 10) – The route of M-49 in southeastern Livingston Co changes once again when the 3.0-mile long portion via 8 Mile Rd, an unconstructed roadway, Old Hamburg Rd and Hamburg Rd to Hamburg is turned back to local control. Simultaneously, the portion of 9 Mile Rd from M-65 (present-day US-23) just north of Whitmore Lake westerly and northwesterly to Spicer Rd and Spicer Rd from 9 Mile Rd westerly to the existing route of M-49 at Hamburg Rd is established as a trunkline route. At a total of 2.5 miles, the new alignment is ½ mile shorter than the former route.
  1929 (Mar 14) – The gap in the officially-established route of M-49 between Stockbridge and Dansville is filled, albeit not following a majority of the existing signed route. From the western end of the established route at Stockbridge in southeastern Ingham Co, the official route of M-49 continues northerly along the signed route via Stockbridge Rd to Milner Rd where the signed route turns westerly. From here, M-49 now continues northerly along Stockbridge Rd to the hamlet of White Oak (Millville), then northwesterly for 2.4 miles along Carter Rd to Dean Creek where it continues northwesterly for 1¾ miles along an unbuilt alignment to the cnr of Osborne Rd & Meech Rd, then northwesterly via Osborne Rd to Dansville Rd to the existing route in downtown Dansville. The signed ("marked-and-maintained") route of M-49 uses Stockbridge Rd northerly from Carter Rd at White Oak to Dansville Rd, then west along Dansville Rd to Osborne Rd where it picks back up on the officially-established alignment into Dansville. In addition, the 1.5 mile segment of officially-established M-49 along Jackson St and Williamston Rd from downtown Dansville southerly to Dexter Trail is cancelled as a state trunkline route and turned back to local control.
  1930 (Dec 2) – A brand new, 22.5-mile long state trunkline route is established running up the length of the western side of Hillsdale Co and is earmarked to become M-49 once the existing route of M-49 from Whitmore Lake to Mason is given a new route designation. This new trunkline route begins at the Ohio state line approximately ¾ mile south of Territorial Rd at South Camden and runs northerly for ¾ mile along an yet-to-be-constructed roadway to South Camden. From there the future M-49 continues northerly along Edon Rd through Camden and Reading to North Weston Rd southeast of Allen. There, the designated route of M-49 conssstinues due northerly along an unbuilt route to US-12/Chicago Rd east of Allen, then northerly a short distance along Condra Rd, then again northerly on a yet-to-be-built alignment to Jonesville Rd where it follows Ash Rd to Herring Rd, then again northerly on an unconstructed alignment to a terminus at M-9/Homer Rd (present-day M-99) on the eastern village limits of Litchfield. This route is likely not signed at this point, until the existing M-49 signs are removed from Livingston and Ingham Cos.
  1930 (Dec 8) – Along with many other locations around the state, M-49 is caught up in an effort to "simplify the routes" of various state trunkline highways, becoming just one of many highways to have new alignments established on this date. However, in most of the cases the new "simplified" routes never pan out and are involved in a mass-cancellation a half decade later.
      In this case, the officially-established route of M-49 diverges from the existing route between Pinckney and Gregory at the hamlet of Bullis Crossing and continues northwesterly along a yet-to-be-constructed alignment across country to a point along Plainfield Rd (present-day M-36) approximately 2/3 mile southeast of the community fo Plainfield, then continues northwesterly along Plainfield Rd and Topping Rd into Ingham Co to Brogan Rd. There, the newly-established route of M-49 again cuts across country 1¼ mile to the cnr of Swan Rd & Carter Rd, then runs via Carter Rd through the hamlet of White Oak (Millville), where it meets up with both the existing signed and established routes of M-49 (See Mar 14, 1929 note above.)
      As the officially-established route of M-49 between Bullis Crossing and Dansville has unconstructed gaps, the signed route of M-49 along the segment continues via the existing signed M-49 route into Gregory, but then turns northerly along Gregory Rd to Spears Rd, westerly via Spears Rd, then northwesterly along Plainfield Rd through Plainfield, continuing on Topping Rd into Ingham Co to the existing signed route of M-49 at Stockbridge Rd. What had been signed as M-49 between Gregory and Stockbridge is redesignated as part of the newly-extended M-106 from Jackson to Stockbridge, while what had been signed as M-49 along Stockbridge Rd from Stockbridge northerly to Topping Rd one mile south of White Oak (Millville) is designated as a northerly extension of M-92. Even though plans were in the works by the MSHD to redesignate all of M-49 as M-36 (so the M-49 designation could move to the newly-designated trunkline in western Hillsdale Co), it is assumed this rerouting of highway routes between Gregory and White Oak is done with M-49 route markers and not using M-36 signs.
  1931 (Feb 4–8) – State Highway Dept work crews spend the first week of February changing out M-49 route markers along the Whitmore Lake–Pinckney–Gregory–Plainfield–Dansville–Mason route for M-36 route markers. With the new trunkline in western Hillsdale Co receiving the M-49 designation, a new one was needed for the previous route and M-36 was chosen. It is assumed the new M-49 route markers in Hillsdale Co are erected in this timeframe as well. As noted above, the officially designated trunkline route for M-49 through western Hillsdale Co runs along segments of roadway yet to be constructed. The signed route of M-49 ("marked-and-maintained" along roadways remaining under county or municipal jurisdiction) differs in two places:
  • From the Ohio state line northerly, M-49 is signed along Edon Rd to Territorial Rd for ½ mile, then westerly ½ mile via Territorial Rd to its official routing along Edon Rd heading northerly toward Camden.
  • From North Weston Rd southeast of Allen, the signed M-49 turns northwesterly to follow Edon Rd to US-12/Chicago Rd, then turns westerly to run concurrently with US-12 into downtown Allen before turning northerly again via Allen Rd, easterly on Genesee Rd, then northerly along Anderson Rd (Chicago St in Litchfield) to a signed terminus at M-9/Marshall St (present-day M-99) in downtown Litchfield.
  1935 (Oct 22) – Along with many miles of other established-but-never-constructed (or improved) alignments brought into the state trunkline system in 1930, the portion of unbuilt M-49 between North Western Rd southeast of Allen and M-9 (present-day M-99) at Litchfield is cancelled as a state trunkline highway route. The unconstructed portions remain unbuilt, while the portions running over existing public roads—which were never improved to trunkline standards or maintained as such—are transferred back to local control. The existing temporary "marked-and-maintained" route of M-49 from south southeast of Allen northerly to downtown Litchfield is established as the state trunkline route instead. This adds 0.4 mile to the officially-established length of M-49, but the signed length remains unchanged.
  1937 (Aug 30) – The unconstructed portion of the route of M-49 from Territorital Rd in the hamlet of South Camden southerly for 0.4 mile to the Ohio state line is cancelled as a state trunkline route, while Territorial Rd from South Camden easterly ½ mile to Edon Rd and Edon Rd southerly from Territorial Rd for 0.4 mile is transferred to state control and officially established as the route of M-49 to the state line.
  1940 (Nov 12) – On the same day that Territorial Rd across southern Hillsdale Co is established as a state trunkline route and designated M-120, a new alignment for M-49 at South Camden is established beginning just south of Territorial Rd and continuing northwesterly via two sweeping curves (bypassing the two 90º turns at Territorial Rd), merging back into the existing route of M-49 approximately ¾ mile north of Territorial Rd. The former route of M-49 from Territorial Rd at South Camden northerly 0.7 mile to the new alignment is transferred to county control, while the east-west poriton along Territorial Rd is retained and incorporated into the new route of M-120.
  1963 New! 2024-05 – The State Highway Dept proposes to cancel the entirety of the route of M-49 as a state trunkline highway and turn it back to local control, but ultimately decides against the action when residents and business owners reject to the plan.
  1967 (Mar 30) New! 2024-05 – The State Highway Dept once again proposes to decommission M-49 in its entirety and turn it back to county and municipal control, but faces the same unanimous disapproval of Hillsdale Co residents and business owners at a public hearing held at the county courthouse in Hillsdale, where attendees claim the move "would hamper the economy of their communities."
  1969 (mid-May) New! 2024-05 – After more than two years, Dept of State Highways officials announce they will no longer be seeking the jurisdictional transfer of the entire length of M-49 from State to local control and the route will remain a state trunkline highway.
Controlled Access: No portion of M-49 is freeway or expressway.
NHS: No portion of M-49 is on the National Highway System (NHS).
Memorial Highways:  The following Memorial Highway designation has been officially assigned to part of M-49 by the Michigan Legislature:
  • Marine Sergeant Michael P. Hodshire Memorial Highway – "The portion of highway M-49 between W. Montgomery Road and Austin Road in Camden Township in Hillsdale County..." From the Michigan Legislature: "Sergeant Michael P. Hodshire was deployed in Iraq from October 2003 to June 2004, then redeployed in 2005. During his second deployment, Sgt. Hodshire served as 2nd Squad Leader for 3rd Platoon, Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. On October 30, 2005, Sergeant Hodshire died of fatal wounds he received the day before from an improvised explosive device during combat operations near Nasser Wa Salaam, Iraq."
Continue on: Ohio SR-49 into Ohio – via Dan Garnell's archived Ohio State Ends website.
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