Near Friendsville in Garrett County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
The National Road
The Road that Built the Nation
“. . . 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.
(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 the State of Maryland.
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° 40.628′ N, 79° 22.507′ W. Marker is near Friendsville, Maryland, in Garrett County. Marker can be reached from Interstate 68 at milepost 6, 2.7 miles from Friendsville Road (State Route 42). Located at the Youghiougheny Overlook rest area on I-68 Eastbound upper car parking Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 6172 National Freeway, Friendsville MD 21531, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Gettysburg Campaign (within shouting distance of this marker); The Youghiogheny River (within shouting distance of this marker); J.W. McCullough, Lumbering and Mining Titan (approx. 1.7 miles away); Friendsville Baseball Fever, Cider Mill, Shanty Town (approx. 1.7 miles away); Bear Creek Lumber and Meat Market (approx. 1.7 miles away); Vietnam Memorial (approx. 1.8 miles away); Walnut Street and First Avenue – F.G. Fox & Sons (approx. 1.8 miles away); Yough Motors, Confectionary and Bandstand (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Friendsville.
Also see . . . History of the National Road in Maryland. (Submitted on May 23, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.)
Credits. This page was last revised on December 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 23, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 316 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on May 23, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. 3. submitted on December 3, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. 4. submitted on May 23, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.