Baltimore, 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 the places, events and stories that shaped this nation. To have your own adventure, stop by any Welcome Center or local visitor center to speak to a travel counselor and pick up a Historic
(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.
Erected by America's Byways.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 17.116′ N, 76° 37.91′ W. Marker is in Baltimore, Maryland. Marker is on West Pratt Street (U.S. 40). Touch for map. The marker is in the grounds of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum. Marker is in this post office area: Baltimore MD 21201, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Railroads Eclipse a National Road (here, next to this marker); The Chessie's Famous "Big Mike" (within shouting distance of this marker); Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); The Car That Carried Ike on His Last Trip (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Irish Railroad Workers Shrine (about 500 feet away); Walters Public Bath House No. 2 (approx. 0.2 miles away); James L. (Jim) Caskey, Jr. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Brig. General Lewis A. Armistead (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Baltimore.
More about this marker. The marker displays a picture of a family standing beside an early 20th Century car along the National Road. Captioned: “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?”
The marker also has a map showing the general path of the National Road from Baltimore to St. Louis. And uses the background “The National Road at Fairview Inn,” which is standard for this marker series. An elevation diagram of the national road is displayed on the bottom of the marker's face.
Regarding The National Road. This is a standard informational marker often used along the National Road in Maryland and is duplicated at other locations.
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 24, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,291 times since then and 43 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on February 24, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.