Although we only have "one" Dixie Highway through Monroe County there was actually an entire "system" of Dixie Highways. They were originally conceived to promote what we now call "tourism". You could hop on "The Dixie" here in Monroe and drive all the way to Miami... actually by a few different routes too. I've posted a map at the bottom. When my Dad originally moved to Florida they built a new home north of Arcadia near Brownville... we were visiting and out exploring one day when we found this little stretch of paved road that was pretty much abandoned. But still standing on the corner was a sign that we could just read... "Dixie Hwy"... I grew up in central Michigan and I knew the "Old Dixie" ran up through Bay City and north to Saulte Ste. Marie.
Over the years we've driven many stretches of "the Old Dixie" on our various trips to Florida. Mostly marked with signs with a "25" in the number... today in Michigan it's "125"... Near by dad's house there are now 3 roads that follow the same general route. The original Dixie, then the later 2 or sometimes even 4 lane road and now the divided (but not usually limited access) road... in that part of Florida it's now US 17. In our area I-75 is never very far from the original Dixie highway.
Dixie came into Monroe from the south on Monroe Street, turned at Elm and went north on the present N. Dixie. For the War of 1812 buffs a good portion of the entire road through the county generally followed part of General Hull's Road... from Monroe north especially.
Joe's Standard Service on South Monroe Street is an excellent example of what the gas stations of the time looked like...
And if you pay close attention today you can still see several former "motels" along "The Dixie". I believe I've read that the term motel was derived by combining motor and hotel and that era started with the automobile and the road systems like "The Dixie".
Here's a map of "The Dixie system"... actually there were several variations and all don't show on here. How many miles have you driven on what was at one time "The Dixie Highway"