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

Mile Markers

National Road/Zane Grey Museum


—One of Several Identical Markers —

Mile Markers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, June 25, 2016
1. Mile Markers Marker
Inscription. The Act of Congress in 1806 which authorized the construction of the National Road required that mile markers be placed at regular intervals. These reference points reassured travelers that they were following the correct route. They also indicated the distance traveled and the distance to a destination.

The use of mile markers began in the Roman Empire with the use of stone obelisks. The first Roman mile markers appeared in the fourth century B.C. on the empire’s legendary Appian Way, the road from Rome to Brindisi.

National Road mile markers are set at one mile intervals along the north side of the Road. Each state’s mile markers were a different design, but all displayed the same information. Ohio’s markers were square with round heads, made of an early form of concrete, sandstone or limestone, while in Pennsylvania they were obelisks made of cast iron. Ohio’s five-foot tall markers were set two feet deep into the ground with three feet exposed. Each marker indicated the distance to Cumberland, Maryland, where the Road begins, and the name and mileage to the nearest cities and villages, for east and westbound travelers.

Whether the letters or numerals were painted or carved, markers followed a standard pattern of showing at the top the number of miles from the beginning of the Road in Cumberland, Maryland. On the next

Mile Markers Marker image. Click for full size.
By Rev. Ronald Irick, June 25, 2014
2. Mile Markers Marker
Full view of pair of markers
row, they wrote the name of the next big town and number of miles to it. On the left side of the marker, it would show eastbound travelers the next big town to the east. On the right side, it would show westbound travelers the next big town to the west and the number of miles to go. On the lowest level, there was usually an initial and a small number. This indicated the nearest town. It didn’t need to be spelled out, because most people from the vicinity would recognize it from the initial.

By the 1920’s, a uniform highway numbering system with standardized road signs replaced the old mile markers, but many remain along the Road. See how many you can identify.
Erected 2014 by The Ohio National Road Association, Inc.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 58.529′ N, 81° 49.356′ W. Marker is in Norwich, Ohio, in Muskingum County. Marker can be reached from E. Pike Old National Road (U.S. 40). Click for map. Marker is in the parking lot at the National Road/Zane Grey Museum, next to another marker. Marker is at or near this postal address: 8850 E. Pike Old Nationa lRoad, Norwich OH 43767, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Historic National Road in Ohio (here, next to this marker); The Historic National Road (here, next to this marker); Warren Pony Truss Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Zane’s Trace Bridge (a few steps from this marker); Motels (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Salt Creek Bridge/Timber Covered Bridges (approx. 1.9 miles away); First Traffic Fatality in Ohio/The National Road (approx. 2 miles away); S-Bridge (approx. 4.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Norwich.
Additional keywords. Old National road
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRoads & VehiclesSettlements & Settlers

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 119 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. 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 September 8, 2016.
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