Cumberland in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The National Road
The Road that Built the Nation
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
(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.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #03 Thomas Jefferson, and the The Historic National Road series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1840.
Location. 39° 38.959′ N, 78° 45.794′ W. Marker is in Cumberland, Maryland, in Allegany County. Marker is on W. Harrison Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Cumberland MD 21502, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Life on the Canal (here, next to this marker); Boat Building at the Cumberland Basin (here, next to this marker); Cumberland Terminus: Yesterday and Today (a few steps from this marker); Civil War in Allegany County (a few steps from this marker); Gettysburg Campaign (a few steps from this marker); Cumberland Western Maryland Railway Station (within shouting distance of this marker); Crossroads of America Mural (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
Also see . . . Historic National Road, Maryland Office of Tourism. (Submitted on September 24, 2019.)
Credits. This page was last revised on October 7, 2019. It was originally submitted on August 9, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 619 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on August 9, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 2, 3. submitted on September 24, 2019.