“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cumberland in Allegany County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

The National Road

The Road that Built the Nation

The National Road Marker image. Click for full size.
By Beverly Pfingsten, August 9, 2013
1. The National Road Marker
Inscription. “. . . 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. 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 National Road map-guide.

(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.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
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.
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); Western Maryland Railway Station (within shouting distance of this marker); George Washington at Will’s Creek (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Headquarters of George Washington (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Cumberland.
Categories. Roads & Vehicles
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 9, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 420 times since then and 33 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on August 9, 2013, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.
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