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


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Everything posted by Steve_Colby

  1. While putting together a Deja View of the rest stop/Point Lookout near the summit of Laurel Hill (West side), it became readily apparent how focused early postcard photographers were on their subject. This is the circa 1940s-50s postcard. This the view if you swing your camera to the left a little. Go figure... ~ Steve
  2. New National Road re-alignment information and Pie A La Road segments have been posted at the National Road Forum. ~ Steve
  3. Denny, We headed out on the new Rt 40/119 but eventually it became Rt. 119 only. We may have gotten off at "Bute Rd." (SR1051) and followed that into Connellsville. Immediately after entering Connellsville (And directions), we got on Rt. 119 back to Uniontown. The road was designated a Heritage Route and I believe we did pass through West Leisenring. I might have remembered more had my skills as a navigator not been the subject of continuous ridicule. ~ Steve
  4. Jim, I glad just to see your post... I thought maybe the hogs had got ya. Now if you can find some bridges on re-alignments... Steve
  5. We nouveau rubes rely on landmarks when giving directions. That's why it was particularly disturbing when the giant poodle disappeared from the side of the old National Road near Farmington, PA. After all, going "Past the Poodle" makes absolutely no sense if there is no poodle. I am pleased to announce the Poodle (Bentley) has arisen from his winter hibernation and once again stands vigil. ~ Steve
  6. The Traveling Dingleberries were out and about on Tuesday and wending our way to Brownsville. At Uniontown, PA, I decided to take, what I assumed was, a short cut to Brownsville, PA. Forty-five minutes later and our re-arrival in Uniontown proved one should not assume roads connect. Our short cut took us, I believe,to the outskirts of Connellsville, PA (We were traveling blind... No maps or GPS.). Along the way, I shot this photo of an old Texaco Gas Station. Remember, "You can trust your car to the man who wears the star." ~ Steve
  7. This Press Release was sent out by the City of Cumberland on May 11, 2010. City Seeks Help to Celebrate the National Road Bicentennial The National Road will celebrate its 200th birthday on May 8, 2011. This highway not only transformed our nation, it also put Cumberland on the map. Stretching from downtown Cumberland to the Mississippi River at St. Louis, this first federally-funded road opened the West to settlement and provided a critical transportation link between settlers along the Atlantic coast and the new American Frontier. For Cumberland, the road placed our emerging city at the head of a major transportation corridor and fueled the city’s subsequent development as a major regional manufacturing and transportation center. Cumberland will mark this bicentennial event by erecting a new 12-foot tall monument at Riverside Park within sight of the Zero Mile Marker. The monument will include a time capsule that will be sealed for another 200 years. Many of the items that will be placed in the monument’s time capsule will be submitted by school children from the towns and cities between Cumberland and Wheeling, WV that were linked through the initial construction of the road. Our area museums will take the lead in organizing the celebration. However, the City and our museums need your help in raising the estimated $50,000 need for the monument and celebration. Your tax-deductible donation will help build a lasting monument to this historic public investment and will preserve contributions from our children to their descendants at least seven generations in the future. If you wish to contribute to our memorial legacy, please make a tax-deductible donation in any amount to the City’s National Road fund prior to October 31, 2010. You may present your donation at the Tax and Utility payment center on the main floor of City Hall. When making a donation, please note on your check or state that you wish to contribute to the National Road or NATL account. You will receive a receipt from the clerk to document your donation. If you wish to mail a donation with your utility bill, please include a photocopy of the check with the note “contribution to the NATL account” on the copy. For more information about the National Road Bicentennial event or to inquire about how you can be involved, please contact David Umling, City Planner, at 301-759-6503, or by e-mail at dumling @ allconet.org. ****** ~ Steve
  8. Dave, Great write-up and I love the Deja View. My mother lived on Pine Island, just north of Fort Meyers, for a number of years. There were still a few "vintage" towns on the island. The main industry, during the 18 or so years we visited, was serving retirees and shrimping. There was some tourism but it was limited. And now, the rest of the story... There was only one road connecting the island with the mainland and it was just above sea level. The State or County limited construction on the island based on the road's ability to handle evacuation traffic. Needless to say, the developers were fighting it. ~ Steve
  9. Mark, Thanks for the info! it appears I couldn't see the trees for the forest. BTW, here's a link to the Dunlop's Bridge/LOC site with larger photos and downloadable high-res images. memory.loc.gov/ ~ Steve
  10. Alex, Thanks for the info! Born in 1950, the Hudson is part of my distant memories. They part and parcel of the jumble of memories that include '49 Fords with four twos, flat head Continental sixes and the infamous police interceptor engines. ~ Steve
  11. Mark, Here's a different shot of the street. Is the railing, lower left corner, a section of the old bridge or a railing that was added later? It's hard to relate the street-scape now with that in the old postcard below. ~ Steve
  12. The County Commissioners have decided to restore funding to the museum for the next year of operation. There is a fund-raising effort underway to raise money to purchase the building in which the collection is housed. This will help to reduce operating costs and, hopefully, assure continued operation of the museum. ~ Steve
  13. Denny, Thanks for the tour description and photos. My wife is also becoming most adept at the quick pull-over and/or circle back around. ~ Steve
  14. Dave, I never knew the Google Map Overlays existed. I use the regular Google Map service and there is no "Overlay" button. It was only after reading your post that I found Google Map Maker. I going to have to learn this whole thing... And as I get older, it seems to be more complicated to do so. Steve
  15. Does anyone have any suggestions for doing quick and easy map overlays? For instance, overlaying a USGS Map over a Google Satellite image? I would think there would HAVE to be an easier way than creating images of both maps and then laying a transparency of one over the other. Thanks for your suggestions. ~ Steve
  16. Call me an old Fogie... But, for reading, I still prefer a book. That said, the electronic versions make topic search So-o-o much easier. ~ Steve
  17. The cause of Brownsville's decline is similar to that of other National Road towns and is rather complicated. In a nutshell, the National Road was a primary transportation artery from the west to the port of Baltimore. Local industry sprung up centered on the use on natural resources available in the area. (i.e. coal, iron, sand for glass, etc.) Service industries like banks and breweries supported the new found prosperity. With the growth and extension of the railroad, the Road's importance declined. Road cities that were able to maintain their status as transportation hubs along the railroad continued to grow. As the US and the transportation network grew, the advantage industries along the Road once held diminished. In the period from the 1930s to the 1950s, many Road towns were bypassed altogether by new highways. The loss of status as a primary shipping route, combined with a failure to update manufacturing technology and other factors, resulted in the loss of both manufacturing, population and support industries. ~ Steve
  18. I had an old guy say something to me which I interpreted to be "You must not be from Brownsville... You're not beat-up looking enough." But he did have a smile on his face when he said it. A second guy in the "Neck" asked if I was from the newspaper. If so, I was supposed to call such-in-such a liar. ~ Steve
  19. Dave, Kinda makes the nearby road iron look rather Plain Jane. ~ Steve
  20. I stopped in to Penn Alps / Little Crossing a week or two ago and caught this Hudson Hornet parked in the restaurant parking lot. She was sportin' Indiana historic tags. ~ Steve
  21. Mark, It looks like Brownsville may have ended the demolition with the building over Dunlap Creek. There didn't seem to be any work in progress when we were there. I'm assuming the original iron bridge is under there somewhere... We're heading back to Brownsville in a week or two to explore some more. ~ Steve
  22. We recently ventured into Brownsville, PA as the Traveling Dingleberries push westward. I've seen photos of the state of Brownsville but the personal experience truly disheartened me. We build magnificent structures to attest to our economic prosperity and prowess and then cast them off like yesterday's garbage. What does that say about us as a country? The "Neck" (Market St. - The National Road) in the downtown commercial district: Former Union Station To see additional photos of Brownsville, go to the Cumberland Road Project/Brownsville Photo Library ~ Steve
  23. Cumberland's "Queen City" designation comes from her position as the Queen of the Potomac River. From the late 1800s to the mid-1930s-40s, Cumberland was the second largest city in the State of Maryland (Next to Baltimore). As the industrial base shrank, so did her fortunes. ~ Steve
  24. One of America's Top Antique Carriage/Wagon Museums May Be Forced to Close On the eve of the 200th Anniversary of the start of construction of the Cumberland/National Road, the Queen City Transportation Museum in Cumberland, MD, may be forced to close their doors. The Thrasher Carriage Collection, considered to be one of the top five carriage/wagon collections in the US, is housed in two buildings in Allegany County, MD. Due to recent cut-backs in county government funding, the Queen City Transportation Museum, home of the largest portion of the collection, may have to close it's doors in May/June, 2010. The possible closing follows two years of volunteer work and thousands of dollars of expense to restore damage caused by age and previous improper storage. (If the museum is forced to close, the County-owned carriages will be returned to the same basic storage facility they were formerly housed in.) A possible solution may be the purchase of the privately-owned building the collection now occupies. If you would like more information on the on the Thrasher Carriage Collection/Queen City Transportation Museum or would like to donate to the building fund, contact the Museum through their website, The Queen City Transporation Museum or via the Allegany County (MD) Historical Society (phone: 301-777-8678; e-mail: hhouse@allconet.org). ~ Steve
  25. Check Archive.org. Many of his books are available online to read and download for free. ~ Steve
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