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

Traveling the National Road

Grantsville: A Heritage of Hospitality Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 11, 2006
1. Grantsville: A Heritage of Hospitality Marker
Inscription. Granstville's Main Street, designated today as Alt. Route 40, was once part of the National Road, the country's first federally funded highway. Visit our Town Park to learn more about the history of the National Road.

Traffic on the National Road increased steadily as Americans traveled west. The road became crowded with horse-drawn stagecoaches, Conestoga wagons, freighters, and men on horseback. In addition to people travelling west, there were goods and livestock travelling east to market. Droves of sheep, cattle, hogs, horses, mules and turkeys were interspersed with the stagecoaches and wagons. Mail and slaves were also moved along the road.

The busiest years were from 1843 until 1852 when passengers transferred from trains in Cumberland to stagecoaches bound for the west. At that time, up to 14 stagecoaches a day traveled in each direction. Pulled by 4 to 6 horses, each coach carried about a dozen passengers. They traveled an average of 8 miles per hour, stopping to change horses as needed. The National Road had a reputation for offering the best in food, lodging and stagecoaches.

Constant usage caused the graveled road surface to deteriorate, and ongoing repairs were needed. Traveling conditions could be unpleasant due to weather - the cold and snow were hazardous, rain caused mud and washouts, and there was dust during dry spells. The smell of animals was ever present. Delays could mean that a stagecoach
The Two Grantsville Markers image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 11, 2006
2. The Two Grantsville Markers
would omit scheduled stops for food or lodging in order to make up for lost time.

Inns sprang up along nearly every mile of the National Road to accommodate weary travelers. Some catered to the more affluent stagecoach passengers. Some served the freight wagon drivers. Still others served the drovers—those men who herded the animals that were being moved to market.

After the railroad crossed the mountains of Western Maryland, traffic on the National Road decreased, as travelers opted for the faster and more convenient rail service.
Erected by the Appalachian Regional Commission, Maryland Office of Planning, Town of Grantsville, Greater Grantsville Business Association, and Preservation Maryland/Maryland Historical Trust.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 41.754′ N, 79° 9.106′ W. Marker is in Grantsville, Maryland, in Garrett County. Marker is on Main Street (Alternate U.S. 40) east of Dorsey Hotel Road, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 113 Main Street, Grantsville MD 21536, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Early Inns (here, next to this marker); Leo J. Beachy (approx. mile away); Grantsville
The Casselman Inn Today image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 11, 2006
3. The Casselman Inn Today
Markers and the milemarker are at the Inn's front lawn.
(approx. 0.3 miles away); The Little Crossings (approx. 0.4 miles away); Casselman River Bridge (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Grantsville.
Additional comments.
1. New and Extraordinary Travelling Accomodations to Baltimore, Washington City and Philadelphia.
(Transcription of the advertisement reproduced on the marker.)
The National Road Stage Co. since the coming of the Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road to Hancock have established on the "Great Central Route," Lines of Coaches, different from any in the United States, which run as follows, vix. First, or Great U. States Mail Line, leaves Wheeling at 7 1-2 o'clock, A.M. and connects with the Rail Road Cars at Hancock on the second day at 6 o'clock P.M. Second Mail Line, leaves Wheeling at 7 o'clock, A.M. and connects with the Cars at Hancock the same as the First Mail Line. Third Line Expedition, leaves Wheeling every afternoon at 5 o'clock, and connects at Hancock with the morning Cars.

The coaches on these Lines are constructed with windows instead of curtains. They are not the Patent Bon Spring Coaches, but easier and safer: the Jacks being made of iron instead of wood, are not so liable to break, and bearing on hinge they give with the movement of the Coach.
Close Up of Advertisement Reproduced on Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, April 11, 2006
4. Close Up of Advertisement Reproduced on Marker
Extra Jacks and extra Coaches are placed at each stand on the Mountains where horses are changed, so as to avoid delay and inconvenience in case of accident. On the Fast Mail Line, between Uniontown and Cumberland over the Allegheny Mountains, "mix in hand" teams are driven. This is the first and only Line of the kind in the United States.

Fare to Baltimore $18; to Philadelphia $15. Time to Baltimore 49 hours; Philadelphia 56, stopping 7 hours at Baltimore.

Parties wishing to avoid night travel can have Coaches furnished them, with the privilege of alighting where and when they please on the route. —Passengers who may wish to go to Hagerstown, by stage from Hancock, are informed that our Company runs the only Line on that route.

J.C. ACHESON, Secretary. L. W. STOCKTON, Prest. N. R. Stage Co.

For seats apply at our office on Water Street, one door south of the United States Hotel, and at the Bar of the Virginia Hotel, Wheeling, VA.

August 1st, 1842. WM. K. NEWNAM, Agent.
    — Submitted May 18, 2006, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.

Categories. Political SubdivisionsRoads & Vehicles
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,278 times since then and 96 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   3. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   4. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Editor’s want-list for this marker. A better shot of the advertisement so that the fine print can be read. • Can you help?
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