Tuesday, March 29, 2011

On The Cumberland Road

Construction of the Great National Pike was authorized on March 29,1806, thus to become the first federal highway. Actual construction began in 1811. This route from Cumberland, Maryland through Wheeling and Indianapolis ended at Vandalia, Illinois and was variously known as the Cumberland Road and the National Road.
The original intent to extend the road through St. Louis and on to Jefferson City, Missouri was stymied by lack of funds and construction ended in 1838. It was the first highway in the United States to use macadam surface. US 40 basically follows the alignment of the National Road; and much traffic once borne by US 40 now uses I-70.
Jim at Down the Road is a true aficiando of roads and the places they will take you. For interesting tours and studies of road alignments, one needs to follow Jim on his journeys.

Map: Wikipedia


Anonymous said...

Why, thank you for the link! It just so happens that my first road trip this year will be on the old Cumberland Road across Ohio, the only portion of it I have not yet explored. Lord willing and the creek don't rise, I'll make that trip over Memorial Day weekend!

Lin said...

Oh, I would think that would be cool to drive that old road. :)

vanilla said...

Jim, looking forward to your CR trip across Ohio! Hope you have a large contingent of "tourists" alon with you.

Lin, lots of neat things to see along the way. I've done the portion from Dayton to Vandalia. I'm sure it's not exactly the same as it was in the 1830s!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

The NCT crosses it twice in Ohio. Old Washington and Tadmore (no longer a town) I have lots of pics and a book! I'll go look at his blog.

vanilla said...

Shark, I think you'll enjoy Jim's travels.