'Ayr Line' Highway
The Times-Tribune-July 27, 1983
By Bill Gladstone

The title for this week's column should really be "Potpourri". It will certainly be a 'miscellaneous collection'.
Our neighbors to the north, Redding, certainly deserve a picture. In fact, one picture is all we have in the Historical Society collection.
The picture is almost identical to a picture in the Redding Centennial Book. I am positive that the pictures were taken at the same time, but if you will look closely you will note that the camera angle is slightly different. The picture was taken on May 5, 1911 by a man by the name of Shipley who operated a studio in Grant City. I would suspect that N.A. Combs purchased the business from Shipley.
The event was a promotion for the 'Ayr Line' highway. 'Ayr Line' was the designation of a stretch or road from Mt. Ayr to Carmack. I remember as a youngster that there was a sign painted on an electric light pole just north of the corner of our yard which said 'Ayr Line Highway'
Jess and Alex Lynch informed me that the official designation of the road from Mt. Ayr to the State Line was Primary 16. Although not quite as sure of himself as Jess and Alex, Ralph Gladstone remembers the number used in Missouri as 29.
The roadway was dirt, of course, and in Missouri the state contracted with farmers at intervals to keep a certain stretch of the road graded. My first recollection of the graderman was a Mr. Canon who lived about 1 ½ miles south of us. The last one I remember grading the roads before 169 was built was Jack Morgan who lived south of Gentry.
It looks as if there were nine or ten cars in the convoy and the signs that are displayed say, "ABOUT GRANT CITY WRITE THE COMMERCIAL CLUB". In the front of the picture five men are standing who appear to be a small band. It would seem reasonable to assume that it was a convoy of Grant City businessmen.
It also would appear that it is an organized occasion. Most everyone, men, women and children, appear to be dressed up.
And now the mystery thickens. On which street was the picture taken? I had assumed that the picture was taken on the east side of the square looking north. Knowing very little about Redding I drove up to see Harley Combs. He is a charming, very helpful, oldtimer and I could sit and visit with him for hours.
Out came the centenial book and we began studying. We finally got in the car and drove uptown. We finally got in the car and drove uptown. We finally came to the conclusion (but we are open to correction) that the picture is looking east on the south side of the square. We think the large house on the right is the present home of Merilee Parker which at that time sat on the east side of the street.
From Redding I wandered over through the country to Sheridan. I spent an hour or so visiting with Johnny Bainum. He is as big a nut about this sort of thing as I am. I went over to get the information straightened out about the picture of the old business house in Sheridan which ran on June 15, 1983. The information on file with the Historical Society material was incorrect and I wanted to get things straight.
True enough the building had been moved to Sheridan from Defiance. It say on the north side of the street which is now highway 246 somewhere near or to the west of the filling station. It housed the Claver Harness Shop and later was the home of Mr. & Mrs. John Clark.
The building was torn down sometime in the mid 1950's.
While in Sheridan I also returned some material about Marietta, Defiance and Isadora to Mrs. Nina Runyon and to Mrs. Marie Roberts.
With the temperature on the top side of 100 degrees that day it was too hot to work. If it hadn't been that hot I would have thought of some other excuse for not working. In fact, I'm getting to the age where I don't even worry about an excuse for not working.