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American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!


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Posts posted by Steve_Colby

  1. In an recent email conversation with Bob Bantz, noted authority on Braddock's Road, I was discussing a group of 1920-30s era SHA maps documenting changes to be made to Braddock Road/SRT 49. Braddock Road is the original route of the Cumberland Road before in was rerouted through the Narrows (1830s). The SHA map included a stone spring culvert which I'll certain was part of the original CR. This area is lodged between the backfill of I-68 and the 1930s and later Braddock Road. Bob examined the area carefully and spoke with local SHA officials. The general conclusion is that Bob has found an undisturbed section of the Cumberland Road dating to 1811-24. This section would not have been part of the 1830s rebuild of the road A search of the area with a metal detector turned up a few wagon nails, a piece of lead and a later coin.

    This could well be the only existing 1811-1830s section of road left.



  2. I was recently researching the earliest use of the National Road moniker to describe the road from Baltimore to Vandalia, IL. It appears the name first came in to limited use about 1820 following the completion of the Baltimore to Cumberland Turnpikes to the federal Cumberland Road.


    If common history is to be believed, this was a joyous occasion for the the Port of Baltimore. In fact, Baltimore and Philadelphia were embroiled in a war over who would control the trade coming from the Susquehanna River area of PA. Neither appeared to care a fig about trade with a newly opening West.


    Read more in the free Archive.org book: The Philadelphia-Baltimore Trade Rivalry, 1780-1860, John Weston Livingood, 1947. The book can be downloaded in PDF and uploaded to devices like KIndle.



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