“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Boonsboro in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The National Road

The Road that Built the Nation

The National Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 28, 2007
1. The National Road Marker
Inscription. “. . . so many happy people, restless in the midst of abundance.” —Alexis de Tocqueville, 1840.

Americans are an adventurous people. From past to present, they have used feet, horses, wagons, stagecoaches, canals, railroads, bicycles, automobiles, trucks and buses to “perpetually change their plans and abodes.”

Centuries ago, George Washington dreamed of a highway joining east and west. In 1806, Thomas Jefferson made that roadway a reality when he risked his Presidency by authorizing, “an Act to regulate the laying out and making [of] a road from Cumberland in the State of Maryland to the State of Ohio.”

The next generation built that “United States Road,” a thirty-foot wide, crushed stone thoroughfare that spanned rivers, traversed mountains and opened up America’s western frontier to the Mississippi. Merchants, traders and families from all over the world journeyed along this route in their quest to claim land, expand markets and form new lives.

Today, you can trace that same path along the Historic National Road. Discover the places, events and stories that shaped this nation. To have your own adventure, stop by any Welcome Center or local visitor center to speak to a travel counselor and pick up a Historic
Three Markers in Downtown Boonsboro image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2007
2. Three Markers in Downtown Boonsboro
Old National Pike, on the left side of the picture is the roadbed of the National Road.
National Road map-guide.

(sidebar) Built in the early 1800s, a paved highway west was America’s first federal project. Much of the approximately 800 mile long National Road is still marked by historic milestones.

(photo caption) Are we there yet? These early 20th century travelers speak to all of us who at one time or another couldn’t wait to get out of the car. Today, we have the luxury of taking our modern interstates for granted. But who can’t relate to those faces?
Erected by America's Byways.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 30.582′ N, 77° 39.237′ W. Marker is in Boonsboro, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is at the intersection of Old National Pike (Alternate U.S. 40) and Orchard Drive / Shafer Park Road, on the right when traveling east on Old National Pike. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Boonsboro MD 21713, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gettysburg Campaign (here, next to this marker); Boonsboro (here, next to this marker); Cannon of Revolutionary War (about 700 feet away, measured
Downtown Boonsboro image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, July 21, 2007
3. Downtown Boonsboro
Boonsboro features many old structures dating to the 19th and early 20th Centuries, having stood testament to the changes of the National Road over time.
in a direct line); The Boys from Boonsboro District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Washington Monument (approx. 0.4 miles away); Town of Boonsboro (approx. 0.4 miles away); Stonewall Jackson's Way (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Battle of Antietam or Sharpsburg (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Boonsboro.
More about this marker. The marker displays a picture of a family standing beside an early 20th Century car along the National Road. The marker also has a map showing the general path of the National Road from Baltimore to St. Louis.
Regarding The National Road. This is a standard informational marker often used along the National Road in Maryland and is duplicated at other locations.
Also see . . .  .pdf version of this marker. (Submitted on October 6, 2007, by Jakub Kaluzny of Rockville, Maryland.)
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,358 times since then and 95 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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