“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Vandalia in Montgomery County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Crossroads of America



—The Historic National Road in Ohio —

The Crossroads of America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 5, 2016
1. The Crossroads of America Marker
Inscription. Transportation has played a significant role in Vandalia since the community’s beginnings as a part of Butler Township. In April 1811, a construction contract was awarded for the first 10-mile section of National Road beginning at Cumberland, Maryland. This was the first federally-funded interstate highway. One hundred years later, in 1911, construction began on a lake-to-gulf highway from Detroit to Cincinnati alng a north-south dirt path through Vandalia known as Troy Pike and later designated as the Dixie Highway. Vandalia became known as the “Crossroads of America,” with the intersection of National Road (US 40) and the Dixie Highway (US 25). During the early 1900s, the Dayton and Troy Electric Railway ran through the “Crossroads,” and the Al Johnson Flying Service operated on approximately 310 acres just northwest of the “Crossroads.” The railway discontinued service in 1932; freight service eventually re-emerged with the establishment of the CSX Railroad. The Al Johnson Flying Service closed in 1934; then, the Dayton Municipal Airport emerged to later become the James M. Cox Dayton International Airport. Today, the intersection of Interstate 75, a north-south route, and Interstate 70, an east-west route, is recognized as the modern-day “Crossroads of America.”

The Village of Vandalia

The Crossroads of America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 5, 2016
2. The Crossroads of America Marker
Full view of marker
was platted August 4, 1838 at the “Crossroads,” which was then the crossing point of two dirt trails. The founder, Mr. Benjamin Wilheim, a settler from Pennsylvania, laid out the village in 33 lots which included his own home and a small general store he built on the National Road as a stop for travelers heading west. During the early years, the village had a church, hotels, blacksmiths, a steam sawmill, meat markets and a carriage shop. The village began to attract travelers and entrepreneurs; on February 7, 1848 it was officially incorporated as the Village of Vandalia with William Wilheim as first mayor. By 1959, Vandalia was outgrowing its “village” status; its citizens voted for a council-manager form of government, effectively making the village into a municipal corporation. Vandalia prides itself as being located at “The Crossroads of America,” incorporating this motto as part of the City’s logo since becoming a Charter City of the State of Ohio on January 2, 1960.
Erected 2011 by The Historical Society of Vandalia-Butler.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 53.436′ N, 84° 11.997′ W. Marker is in Vandalia, Ohio, in Montgomery
The Crossroads of America Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, July 5, 2016
3. The Crossroads of America Marker
Marker can be seen at a distance
County. Marker is at the intersection of National Road (U.S. 40) and Dixie Highway (County Route 25), on the left when traveling west on National Road. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 110 West National Road, Vandalia OH 45377, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tadmor - Taylorsville (approx. 1.9 miles away); The Village of Tadmor / The National Road (approx. 1.9 miles away); Taylorsville (approx. 2.4 miles away); Joseph Calvin Paul Memorial Boulevard (approx. 2.9 miles away); Phoneton (approx. 3.5 miles away); a different marker also named Phoneton (approx. 3.7 miles away); Englewood Dam (approx. 4.2 miles away); The Miami Conservancy District (approx. 4.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Vandalia.
Additional keywords. Old National Road, Dixie Highway
Categories. Railroads & StreetcarsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 97 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on August 8, 2016.
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