“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Big Pool in Washington 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 J. J. Prats, October 22, 2006
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
Detail of Marker image. Click for full size.
2. Detail of Marker
This marker is located east of Cumberland near the dotted line once known as Baltimore Pike.
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.

(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?
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 37.475′ N, 78° 1.049′ W. Marker is near Big Pool, Maryland, in Washington County.
This Marker is on the Right image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 22, 2006
3. This Marker is on the Right
Marker is on Big Pool Road (Maryland Route 56) south of Exit 12 (Interstate 70), on the right when traveling south. Marker is in a small park with plenty of parking at the eastern trailhead of the Western Maryland Rail Trail. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Big Pool MD 21711, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Big Pool Junction (here, next to this marker); Big Pool Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The National Road (approx. one mile away); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. one mile away); “ protect, preserve...and provide access thereto for the public.” (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Big Pool.
More about this marker. This marker has been erected almost two miles away from the National Road, now U.S. Route 40.
Categories. Roads & Vehicles

More. Search the internet for The National Road.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 19, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,723 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 19, 2007, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
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