Where the Road Began

Where the Road Began (HMBLC)

Location: Cumberland, MD 21502 Allegany County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 38.985', W 78° 45.891'

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The Historic National Road - The Road That Built the Nation

You are standing at the starting point of this country's first federal road building project, the National Road. A vision of George Washington as a means to develop the continent and to unite the country, his idea was championed by Thomas Jefferson and authorized by Congress in 1806.
Nestled in the Allegheny Mountains, Cumberland sat on the edge of the frontier in the early 19th century. Crossing the mountainous landscape was challenging. The eastern continental divide was a barrier for westward expansion and trade in the Ohio Valley. Still, daring pioneers pushed westward.
"Easily first among the several through highways running west from the Atlantic seaboard, and ranking with the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails of the far west, is the Old National Road, which though completed as a government project only from Cumberland, Maryland to Wheeling (then Virginia, now West Virginia) was connected up with the older pikes from Baltimore, Frederick and Hagerstown, and subsequently with the newer lines west of the Ohio River, making for all time the shortest and most natural way for road travel from tidewater at Chesapeake Bay to the junction of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers at St. Louis, Missouri."
Robert Bruce traveled the National Road in 1916, and produced a guidebook that included "a series of detailed maps showing topography and principal points of historic interest." His insight ass those years ago continues to enlighten today's traveler on the historical significance of this great highway that for so many years was "a vital factor in the life, politics and industry of the country." Thank you, Mr. Bruce.
Series This marker is part of the The Historic National Road series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 8:50am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 691772 N 4391271
Decimal Degrees39.64975000, -78.76485000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 38.985', W 78° 45.891'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 38' 59.10" N, 78° 45' 53.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301, 240
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 36 Greene St, Cumberland MD 21502, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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