: This color image shows a stone marker denoting Zane's Trace, a travel route, and Treber Inn, which provided lodging for travelers during the early 19th century. The marker, made of pinkish stone, reads: "Zane Trace, Ohio's first highway and mail route authorized by Congress in 1796 / Marked and cleared in 1797 by Col. Ebenezer Zane / A blazed trail, it became the route of the old stage line from Maysville to Wheeling used by noted statesmen to and from the Southwest and Washington.
"Tremor Inn, Erected in 1797. Became "traveler's rest" in 1798 / Here, for over sixty years, distinguished guests and weary foot travelers found entertainment / Nearby, in 1793, Asahel Edgington was slain by Indians / the first white man killed in Adams County.
"Erected by Adams County Historical Society 1933."
Zane's Trace was an early road in the Northwest Territory that connected Wheeling, Virginia, to Limestone, Kentucky (present-day Maysville). It was a major road in early Ohio until well after the War of 1812. In 1796, Ebenezer Zane petitioned Congress for permission to build a road through the region, with the stipulation that the American government would grant him land where the road crossed the Muskingum, Hocking, and Scioto Rivers. The government agreed to his terms and required the road to be open by January 1, 1797. It was widely believed that a road would encourage increased trade and settlement in Ohio.
Zane's Trace was more a trail than a road. Zane used existing Native American trails wherever possible and cut down trees to create a primitive path. Tomepomehala, an Indian guide, helped Zane plot the road. Prior to Ohio's statehood, Zane's Trace was not accessible by wagon. It was so narrow and rough that it was only passable on foot or on horseback. Zane built ferries at each of the river crossings and profited from the travel over the road. A small town began to develop where the ferry was located at the mouth of the Licking River. It came to be known as Zanesville.
After Ohio became a state in 1803, the state legislature set aside money to improve the road. The goal was to make Zane's Trace accessible to wagons. By 1804, trees had been cut down to make the road twenty feet wide. Logs were laid across marshy areas to create corduroy roads, and several bridges were built. It was now possible to travel by wagon from Wheeling to Chillicothe, although many tree stumps were still standing in the middle of the road. People who traveled the road began to refer to it by a number of different names, including the Wheeling Road, the Wheeling-Limestone Road, or just the Limestone Road, rather than Zane's Trace.
Zane's Trace encouraged significant economic and population growth in the Northwest Territory and the young state of Ohio. View on Ohio Memory.
: AL06963 Subjects
: Historical marker; Zane's Trace (Ohio); Zane, Ebenezer, 1747-1812; Transportation--Ohio--History; Northwest Territory; Adams County (Ohio); Muskingum County (Ohio) Places
: New Concord (Ohio); Muskingum County (Ohio); Adams County (Ohio)