The Roadside Table
Here on old U.S. 16 in Boston Township, Ionia County, the first picnic table along a highway right-of-way was placed in 1929 through the initiative of Allan Williams, county engineer. The table was built of salvage planks formerly used as guardrails. The idea immediately caught on and was adopted by the State Highway Department. The Ionia County Road Commission made the state's tables until the work became too great. The roadside table became an emblem of Michigan's hospitality, one which has been widely emulated by states the nation over.