I am O'fieldstream, some say 'les O'fieldstream'. Either way, I am Outdoors, Photography and Technology, Writing, Travel and Friends. Love WUville.
By: ofieldstream , 4:47 AM GMT on March 29, 2006
'All roads lead to ...?",
Well, in the ancient saying, it's Rome, but today it could be anywhere. The construction of roads were the most significant initial improvements to any area. Because of roads, people have been able to move themselves, goods and services from place to place. This opened up the economies of established and new communities. Roads have been integral to the development of human society since time immemorial.
The first major road construction in the United States was authorized on this date, March 29, in 1806. The Great National Pike became the first element of the first U.S. federal highway.
The beginning point for the National Road (as the National Pike was also called), was in Cumberland, Maryland. This roadway became the the great highway to Western migration that built the United States.
The beginning of the National Road was in fits and starts. But along the way sections of the road have become associated with major elements of U.S. History.
One section that opened in 1818 and ran from Cumberland, MD to Wheeling, WV, was built upon the Native American trail known as Nemacolin's Path. This name is still well known on this section of the Highway in Pennsylvania. This path was an important route during the French and Indian Wars; during which time it was known as Braddock's Road: named for British Gen. Eward Braddock. This path was also the route taken by George Washington on his first Western expedition.
Today on this route, near Farmington, PA you can enjoy the luxery of the Nemacolin; as magnificent Hotel, Spa, Golf Course Resort. It is something to see!
Just east on Highway 40 that runs right in front of the Nemacolin, you can still see the remnants of the small stockade where under the command of 22-year old George Washington, the Colonial troops were defeated in the first battle of the French and Indian War and a seven year struggle between Britain and France. Britain's success in this was paved the way for the American Revolution.
All along the National Road reside the roots of our national heritage. Believe it or not, traveling the current U.S. 40 is a wonderful vacation! Those who undertake such a trip will be rewarded with a treasure trove of history and heritage. Well worth the trip.
So... all roads lead to SOMEPLACE ... and if we follow them long enough they will lead right back to where we began. Take a trip. Follow a path. Learn a new segment of your heritage. These avenues into who we are and who we will become, exist all across this great country. And they all begin in our own back yards.
As Willie Nelson says, "On the road again."
The National Road
Gen. Edward Braddock
French and Indian War
Mount Washington Tavern
The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.
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