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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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Everything posted by Steve_Colby

  1. To my friends at on the American Road Forum. My lack of participation has not been intentional. I recently found out I have breast cancer and cancer in my eyes. I have started treatment (chemo) and it is certainly taking it's loll on my ability to function normally. I will have to live vicariously through your photos and commentaries for awhile. To add insult to injury, our parrot crapped on my ergo keyboard an shorted out a number of keys on ht e left side... Bummer! ~Steve
  2. Jim, There is no problem calling the combined road the (Historic) National Road... As long as the histories of the individual roads aren't applied to the whole. (Authorized by the Act of 1806, first federally-funded, etc) ~ Steve
  3. Thanks for everyone's thoughts and replies. As you all are aware, I've have done (and continue to do)fairly extensive research on the "National Road". The research I've done so far, seems to indicate the name "National Road" came into "common" use about 1825. This is about the same time the Baltimore to Cumberland turnpikes (privately-owned toll roads) connected with Cumberland. Officially (In legislation, both federal and state), the road from Cumberland to Wheeling was still called the "Cumberland Road". The Cumberland Road was accepted by MD & PA in 1835. According to MD State documentation, most of the Road from about Hagerstown to the PA line was abandoned. (Both county and privately owned.) As a Road historian, my dispute is the applying of the history of the federally-funded Cumberland Road to the National Road as a whole. (For example, apples and oranges are called fruit...) The Act of 1806 authorized the CR, not the commonly-known NR. 1811 is the start date of the CR, and on and on... My quest is to educate the public the National Road represents three separate roads, each with their own history. ~ Steve PS I have edited the Wiki National Road page in the past and will endeavor to do it again in the near future.
  4. OK. To paraphrase Popeye "That's all that I can stand and I can't stands no more!". We, in Cumberland, MD, recently celebrated the bicentennial of the start of construction on the National Road. The problem lies in the fact it's not the bicentennial of the National Road but that of the Cumberland Road. The road that runs from Cumberland, MD to Wheeling, WV (VA then). History will not be served until the-powers-that-be acknowledge the National Road as three separate roads, the Baltimore Pike, the Cumberland Road and the Cumberland Road West of the Ohio, each with its own intrigue and history. (They also need to understand, Rt. 40 incorporates the three roads known as the National Road but they are not one in the same.) It's time for some historical activism and I'm ready for a fight! ~ Steve
  5. I haven't had time to check most of these resources out... But here they are: University of Texas (at Austin) Historic Topos - Google Earth Library List of United States Map Resources ~ Steve
  6. Denny, This may or may not help... Here's a link to the David Rumsey Map Collection's maps from the Rand McNally Road Atlases circa 1924 and 1927: David Rumsey The Collection has other state maps that can be accessed by a search. All the maps are zoomable and downloadable. ~ Steve
  7. Jim, Brian provided a link this morning for the NR from Cumberland to Frederick, MD. (NRF) I have studied the map in detail, but I did find some discrepancies on the west side of Sideling Hill. I too wonder about the date of the topo Brian used. There are a few spots I know are wrong from on-the-ground confirmation and verification on period USGS topos. All in all, I think it's better than 95% accurate. ~ Steve
  8. A member of the National Road Forum has integrated the 1910 USGS Route of the National Road, from Cumberland, MD to Vandalia, IL, into Google Earth. The display of the 1910 route, in conjunction with the current route, illustrates realignments that have been made in the last 100 years. This is a invaluable tool for those of us that search for early vestiges of the old road. For more information and links to the map file, go to the National Road Forum – 1910 USGS Map File ~ Steve
  9. The National Road heading east up Laurel Mountain toward Uniontown, PA. The famous Summit Hotel is at the top of the mountain. Trucks have to stop at the top of the mountain and proceed at 10 mph down the west side. ~ Steve
  10. I got off of the Cumberland Road, mid-summer, and have been exploring old back roads. Western MD is steeped in history and many of the back roads are over 200 years old. Old structures that have avoided the crush of progress can be founded nestled in small towns I didn't know existed. On a recent exploration for the remains of a late 1700s grist mill, we stumbled upon this beauty. Additional research placed the construction date circa 1924. A short distance down the road is a magnificent brick mansion, formerly owned by the Shaw family. ~ Steve
  11. Denny, The last tall frosted mug of root beer I had was from A&W. I lived in Tempe, AZ for a while, in 1969, and there was an A&W stand on Apache Blvd. If memory serves, a tall frosty cost 50 cents. ~ Steve
  12. Root beer in a frosted mug.... It's been a long time since I had one of those. Thanks for the photos Jim! ~ Steve
  13. It's real and it has an Invicta nameplate on the front fender. ~ Stve
  14. Kind of makes you do a double-take... The location is an old school in Oldtown, MD with some kind of car repair/restoration business in one side and a restaurant in the old cafeteria. ~ Steve
  15. Mark, I really wanted to go down and photograph the big white house... Which looks very much like an old commercial building. The "No Trespassing" sign at the end of the road and the somewhat remote location (Hillbilly Cannibals <g>) kept me from venturing forth. ~ Steve
  16. Denny, The area around Front Royal is quite nice. We used to camp on the Shenandoah not too far from there in Luray, VA. Thanks for the photos and commentary! ~ Steve
  17. One of my favorite signs on Route 40A west of Middletown, MD is a hand-made sign, on an old building, which reads "Rudy's Welding and Cold Beer". (The Town of Middletown was dry for years. Rudy's is in the County.) ~ Steve
  18. If memory serves, when I moved to Frederick in 1979, the two-lane alignment, now called Rt. 144, was the Interstate. It was not only two-lanes but also had grade level on-off access from surrounding roads. There is a seafood restaurant along this section of road (Jug Bridge) that's been a local favorite for years. Christopher Busta-Peck shot some photos of the old Jug Bridge a few years ago. ~ Steve
  19. Jim, Here's a few more... Although they may be steel, not iron. This bridge is still in service on the National Road realignment just east of Grantsville, MD. It replaced the famous Casselman River Stone bridge. The Brownsville, PA truss bridge over the Monongahela River. The Zane Gray Bridge, Muskingum County, Ohio, is now pedestrian only. http://bridgehunter.com/oh/muskingum/zane-gray/ ~ Steve
  20. For lovers of old roadside archeology... The Society for Commercial Archeology ~ Steve
  21. Mark, Welcome to my neck of the woods! You can see more photos of the area, both vintage and current, at the Cumberland Road Project/Sideling Hill page. ~ Steve
  22. Wow! Thats some expensive wallpaper... ~ Steve
  23. Great photos, Dave. Did you, perchance, get a close-up of the builder's plate at the top of the bridge? ~ Steve
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