National Road construction photograph   Save
National Road construction photograph
Description: This photograph shows a work crew crushing rock on the National Road. Six men are clearly visible; one appears to be a foreman because he's watching the others, his arms akimbo, and he's not holding any tools. Wire fencing and utility poles line the sides of the road. The National Road (also called the Cumberland Road or the U.S. Road) was the first federally sponsored roadway. The U.S. Congress commissioned the National Road in 1806 as a conduit to the West, linking the Potomac River and Cumberland, Maryland, to St. Louis, Missouri, and the Mississippi River. The road opened Ohio and the Northwest Territory to settlement and trade with the eastern U.S. By 1838 the Cumberland Road had reached Springfield, Ohio; three years later it reached Vandalia, Illiinois, where construction stopped due to a funding shortfall. By this time the railroads had attracted travelers and business shipping away from the National Road, and the project was abandoned. The National Road crossed the state of Ohio along what is now U.S. 40. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL05821
Subjects: Cumberland Road--History; Toll roads--Pennsylvania--History; National Road; Transportation--Ohio--History; Ohio Economy--Transportation and Development
Places: National Road construction photograph