America’s first highway, the historic National Road, is a tribute to small town life and a tapestry of different eras.
Settlers heading west in wagon trains in the early 1800s were often stuck on muddy, rutted mountain roads or inching along barely negotiable trails even across the flatlands. Thomas Jefferson put surveyors to work in 1806 to chart the course of a national road.
Construction began in Cumberland, MD in 1811 and work had progressed to Wheeling, West Virginia by 1818. Through six states, this project encouraged settlement and exploration. Towns sprouted up along the road, which became “Main Street” and a center of small town activity.
The steam engine led to the death of the road. Train travel became so popular for …[ … ] Read The Full Story