I was born in Cleveland, a few blocks from U.S. 42. I was also born to wander, and I’ve done a lot of that on U.S. 42. Which is what I did Sunday morning on my way home from a family reunion in Medina County. I followed it into Ashland County in lieu of taking Interstate 71.
U.S. 42 starts – or ends, depending on your point of view – in downtown Cleveland. It follows West 25th Street, part of my early stomping grounds. That’s another story for another time.
It’s a rural two-lane for the most part, passing through Medina and West Salem in Medina and Wayne counties respectively.
Medina was once a sleepy rural crossroads. It’s now a bedroom community. In the latter half of the 20th century, it was “resettled” by white-flighters, Caucasians from Cleveland looking to escape encroaching racial integration.
I continued south into Ashland County. As I recall, U.S. 42 originally followed Cleveland and Claremont avenues through town. The U.S. 42 signs are no longer there. Apparently the U.S. 42 bypass, built to keep truck traffic out of town, now serves as the officially designated route.
Building the bypass also kept other traffic out of town, contributing to city’s sense of being suspended in another time. That, too, is another story for another time.