America’s First Highway | The National Road, National Geographic: Trees, Not Phone Poles, Line a Rural Road

Wet snow blankets the ground along the National Road in an early April snowstorm where the historic road passes through the center of this small western PA town. No phone poles line the rural highway but  the yellow center line added in modern day dates the photo in a modern era.

This two mile stretch near Addison, PA, between Youghiogheny Lake and the Maryland border, is one of the more historic parts of the road. A tollhouse marks the east entrance to the town.

Construction began in Cumberland, MD in 1811 on the National Road, America’s first highway built with federal funds. Reaching Wheeling, West Virginia in 1818, it ended more than 600 miles west in Vandalia, Illinois in 1852.