Prior to June 11, 1945, Florida used a system of highways with designations assigned by the Florida legislature. The earliest evidence I have seen of the numbering system is from a 1917 State Road map, listing old FL 1 though old FL 12. It is possible that the route numbers were not actually posted until 1923. The actual practice of assigning routes by legislation started in 1923. The lower numbers were the primary routes of the early 1920's. Other numbers were added later, every two years, up to Florida Road 601. You can track the political power shifts by what county had it's road systems added to the state road network. The old Florida state highway sign was a blue diamond. This type of sign was also retired in 1945 in favor of a square sign with a state outline, similar to the style in use today. Few vestiges of the 1917-1945 highway numbering system remain: Portions of Old SR 1 marked along US 90 notably near Milton, FL, or Old SR 8 along US 27. There is a CR 3 along US 17, the former SR 3.
Every two years from 1923 to 1943 routes were added and deleted by the Florida legislature. Older numbers were re-used as they became available. A notable exception was FL 19, which had been renumbered FL 500 and its prior number not re-used. Sometimes the routes were named by the legislature. Those names have been listed on the route pages. The US route system was signed in additon to the existing Florida numbers. Unlike modern Florida practice, both numbers were usually posted in a manner similar to that of modern Georgia.
Routes listed as (spur) were not signed as spurs, but were spurs in practice. A proliferation of confusing spurs is one of the reasons Florida changed over to the grid system in use today.
Florida also had a plethora of routes that were never built, many of the numbers below only represent the gleam in a legislator's eye. Other route numbers did not survive the transition of 1945 as state highways. Many reverted to unnumbered county roads.
Ye Olde Route Log:
Florida 1-20 Florida 21-40 Florida 41-60 Florida 61-80 Florida 81-100 Florida 101-120 Florida 121-140 Florida 141-160 Florida 161-180 Florida 181-200 Florida 201-220 Florida 221-240 Florida 241-260 Florida 261-280 Florida 281-300 Florida 301-320 Florida 321-340 Florida 341-360 Florida 361-380 Florida 381-400 Florida 401-420 Florida 421-440 Florida 441-460 Florida 461-480 Florida 481-500 Florida 501-520 Florida 521-540 Florida 541-560 Florida 561-580 Florida 581-601
Florida has a more efficient system of state highways today, but it lost something of the history and charm this old road network had. Whatever your reasons were for looking over these pages, I hope you enjoyed this look at Florida's past.
1923, 1925, 1927 lists courtesy Daniel Moraseski
1937, 1939 lists courtesy Richard Helms, FDOT
Florida State Photographic Archives
Tampa / Hillsborough Public Library
Polk County (Florida) Historical Library
U.S. Highways: From US 1 to (US 830)
Last update to this page on Wednesday, December 13, 2006.
Feel free to E-mail me with any comments or requests for more details on specific roads.
Page maintained by
Robert V. Droz
This web page first posted 7/30/00.