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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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    National Road milestone 4 3/4, Baltimore, Maryland
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    Art, Books, Bookbinding, Driving, Travel, Woodworking

cbustapeck's Achievements

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  1. Chris, That's it! It's not nearly so fun of a story - but it's great to know, and now I'm wondering where the service station was. The closest building of any size in the right direction seems improbable, but not impossible. It's a couple hundred feet down the road. In the wrong direction (given the orientation of the sign), at about the same distance, we have this former service station: Heading in the proper direction, given the orientation of the sign, there isn't another former service station for a good four or five miles. Guess I may have to spend some more time on the road.
  2. A while ago, I posted about what I thought might be a 1920s metal speed warning sign, on the National Road, in western Maryland. I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather on Monday to go shoot some photos. This view, looking north, is the old National Road alignment that the sign is on, on the west side of Sideling Hill. In the version of this photo on Flickr, I've noted the location of the sign - it's on the right side of the road, but a bit before the road curves. I'm reasonably sure that the driveway that goes off to the right is an even older alignment, but as it was private property and the owner could not be located, I've been unable to research that further. This even older alignment probably curved off to the left a bit, as suggested by the flat patch of grass on the left side of the photo. This is the sign itself, again looking north. The side that is visible to us would have been seen by southbound (eastbound) travelers. The other side of the sign has been more exposed to the elements, and no distinguishable markings remain on it. The sign has a black border. At the top is a small ">" in a circle - perhaps a directional arrow. To the best of my ability to tell (and based on a bit of guessing), it reads "Cities Speed Ahead". Is this, then, a direction to slow down to city speeds? My interpretation, of course, may be wrong. I know this much of the text with certainty: (>) CITIES S A D I'd love to hear any other possible guesses / thoughts.
  3. Jim, Let me know how it goes. If you need additional research help, let me know - I'll see what I can dig up. Christopher
  4. Jim, I came across them in the Maryland Department of the public library where I work, in Baltimore. I was so surprised by the wealth of information in them that I can't believe that I didn't look at them sooner. They're especially good for depicting old alignments, as the Commission was proud to show off the great work that they'd done with making the roads safter by straightening them out. Annual report of the State Highway Commission of the State of Indiana Indiana University has the closest thing to a complete run that I've been able to find (call number HE356.I6 I633), but, of course, I haven't actually called anyone up to talk to them to confirm this. Once you get through those, I'm guessing that there'll probably be a whole bunch of boring and relatively useless stuff in the same area of the shelf about the construction of roads in the state, environmental impact studies, and perhaps even proposals for road plans through a given area. A librarian there ought to be able to help you more than I can. ----------- Alas, I'm not going to be able to take a better shot of the sign anytime soon. I'm driving up to Ohio on Friday morning to view the house of our (my wife and my) dreams and spend Christmas with my side of the family. But hopefully, I'll be able to get a scan of the image of a similar sign up before too long.
  5. I photographed this sign on an older National Road alignment, on the west side of Sideling Hill, in Maryland a while ago, and I've been wondering what it was ever since. I assumed that it was probably an advertisement for some sort of service station, but it was so rusted as to be unidentifiable. Recently, I've been doing some research in the old Maryland State Roads Commission reports. I came across some warning signs, and I came to realize that that's what this is - a speed warning sign, cautioning motorists about an upcoming curve. The sign, to the best of my ability to tell, is from the 1920s.
  6. That's great! Is there anyone in the Columbus area that we can con into scanning / photocopying the maps? I can put them up on my Flickr account if need be, or, if they have a disk with them already on them, even if they're PDFs, I can work on converting them...
  7. Hey, I don't know everything. Really. I just have good reference sources. And it was my state's bicentennial bridge, at least at the time of the bicentennial - I'm only recently a Baltimorean. I didn't realize that it was the bicentennial bridge - I'm a former Clevelander - you know, those people who are ignorant of everything south of the Ohio Turnpike. This goes into my long list of things to do further research on.
  8. Tomorrow (Friday) I'm driving from Baltimore to Raleigh, NC, for a wedding. While I think it would be fun to drive the whole way on Route 1, my better half would probably feel otherwise. I'll probably stick to I-95 for the drive from Baltimore to Washington, DC, but after that, I'm not sure. Are there any sections that you might especially recommend? Thank you - Christopher
  9. I was browsing through the Historic American Buildings Survey / Historic American Engineering Record at the Library of Congress, when I came across an interesting photograph of the S-Bridge on the National Road in Blaine, Ohio. It seems that there used to be a milestone on the bridge, but that in the intervening years, it has disappeared. First look at these two HABS photographs, from the 1930s, the first one looking west, the second looking east. Then look at my photograph, the closest that I could find to the angle of the first one. How does a milestone like this disappear? It's not like the milestones by the roadside which can be dug up... or is there a story behind this that makes more sense? Either way, it's interesting. Oh, and because I know you want it, a better photograph of these two great bridges: (or see more from the same set)
  10. Thank you. I sent them an email last night about the maps as well. Perhaps the group effort will help - surely your effort as a member and Ohio taxpayer will cary a bit more weight. If I haven't mentioned it elsewhere already, I should add that the Ohio Historical Society has published a wonderful guide to driving the National Road in Ohio, A Traveler’s Guide to the Historic National Road in Ohio: The Road That Helped Build America. It's available free for the asking.
  11. I clearly spend too much time staring at the computer screen. I was checking out the Ohio Historical Society's material on the Road when I came across this directory. The PDFs with the three letter filenames are sections of maps of counties - unfortunately there's only one map present for each county, when there should be about five. These maps detail every single historic feature on the road, including every item listed in the Intrinsic Quality Inventory (PDF). The question now is what do I have to do to get the rest of the maps? This is the website that some of the files are linked to from.
  12. Erm. Yes, that seems to be happening for me, as well. I'm hoping it's a temporary bug. That said, if you click on any of the milestones listed over on the left, it'll take you to the right spot on the map. Alternately, you can drag the map over to the correct location... but that seems rather time consuming. I'll check on it tomorrow - hopefully it will be straightened out by then.
  13. Not to take away from Mobilene and his photographs, but since you asked for it, and because I can't seem to resist a request for photographs, here are a few sunlit leaves on an old alignment (and one of my personal favorite photographs), on the Peacock Road, an old National Road alignment in eastern Ohio. I only did what I did because I didn't want to have *another* group of admins annoyed at me for posting too many photographs too big. Personally, I'd perfer something around 250 pixels wide, but there isn't any easy way to do that with Flickr... My father (who first told me about the magazine, by the way) informs me that I should be getting a subscription soon. Yay for the early gift-giving!
  14. Ack! Don't remind me about how much data I have on Flickr that would be essentially lost if it were to go down. I need a Flickr Downloadr to go with the Flickr Uploadr. =)
  15. That is correct. Totally rebuilt? Wow. I don't suppose you have any "before" photographs?
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