I've headed up the "Yesterday" column with
site not because it isn't current but because it offers so much
history. Yes, its focus is a US highway that only came into being in
the 1920s but it ties that highway to all that came before. Look
around and you will find Braddock's Road, Zane's Trace, the
Cumberland Road, and more. Frank has been sharing his Route 40
knowledge via the web since 1995. In addition, Frank moderates the
Route 40 e-group at Yahoo.
A Federal Highway Administration site with lots of information,
including driving directions, on the 126 roads designated
America's Byways®. Among these special roads are some,
with national significance, called All-American Roads. The
Historic National Road is one. Of course you
can pick up a little history here but the emphasis is on helping
people drive the current official byway.
Another modern site that is here because it offers plenty of
history. You can find articles here on
The National Road,
Maryland's Bank Road,
Zane's Trace, and a whole lot
Just east of Zanesville, OH, in the town of Norwich, the
National Road Museum sits between US-40 and
I-70. Owned and operated by the
Historical Society, its officially called the National Road/Zane
Grey Museum. Grey, the great-grandson of Ebenezer Zane, was born in
Zanesville. He gained fame writing western novels like Riders of
the Purple Sage. The road has the majority of museum space but
the author also gets his share and so does the art pottery that
once flourished in the area.
Allegheny County Maryland includes this 1923
Cumberland Road essay in their
project. They also have a page on National Road
taverns and inns that includes some descriptions
Back in 1919, some travelers in Florida got together and gave
themselves the name Tin Can Tourists. These weren't the "eat in
a restaurant & sleep in a hotel" sort of travelers but people
who slept in tents or their cars and cooked their meals over camp
fires. Membership grew to a peak of 100,000 in 1963 then dropped
rapidly. The group ceased to exist sometime in the '70s but was
revived, in 1998, as an organization for vintage trailers and RVs.
In June of 2006, they will be traveling the National Road from
Cumberland, MD, to Vandalia, IL. Check out their plans and
participating people & vehicles
I knew of the Tin Can Tourists from my great-grandmother's mention
of joining the group in 1920 but I only learned of their current
incarnation when I started gathering information for my own National
Road trip. In 2001, Chris & I retraced the trip on which my
great-grandparents became Tin Can Tourists but that's
Timothy Crumrin's article on
The Making of the National Road is from the
Prairie web site. Conner Prairie is not a historical National
Road town. It is an "open-air living history museum" north-east of
Indianapolis; A bit more than ten miles away from the current US-40.
It looks like a place I really must visit. I discovered the web site
through a National Road search but their "Learn and Do"
section contains a lot more.
Adam Prince's (GribbleNation) photo essay of the National Road
through its four eastern states. Nothing yet from Indiana or
Illinois but that could change. The essay is divided into sections
and can be "traveled" in either direction. Each page helps weave the
World Wide Web with a "Sources & Links" section.