Tag: National Road

  • Abandoned 1930s Maryland National Road pavement

    The automobile created demand for good roads in the early 20th century. Dirt and gravel were upgraded to brick, concrete, and asphalt. Hills were leveled, valleys were filled, and curves were straightened. Not quite two miles past the Wilson bridge west of Hagerstown, MD, lies this example of state-of-the-art roadbuilding circa 1930. A straightened and…

  • The Wilson Bridge on the National Road in Maryland

    Visiting Wilson’s Bridge on the National Road near Hagerstown, Maryland.

  • New Market on the National Road in Maryland

    A stop in charming, quaint New Market on Maryland’s National Road.

  • Ellicott City on the National Road in Maryland

    Ellicott City, Maryland, was founded in 1772 around the Ellicott brothers’ flour mill. It later became a transportation hub as the National Road passed through it and the B&O Railroad laid the nation’s first miles of commercial track to it. Here’s where the two roads intersect: A Berkeley professor named George Stewart spent a good…

  • The National Road in Maryland

    An introduction to my trip along the National Road in Maryland.

  • Where cars no longer go

    We all have our hobbies. Some people follow pro football, some run, some make lovely quilts, some fish, some solve the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.  I like to explore abandoned roads. Yeah, that’s a great conversation starter at parties. I’m not sure where this vigor comes from. All I know is that the first time I found…

  • The National Road revisited

    “I know!” someone at the highway maintenance barn exclaimed. “Let’s get drunk and go stripe some road!” This and many other adventures, including an abandoned bridge, 10 miles of abandoned brick highway, and an 1830 stone arch bridge still carrying traffic, in my report on the Indiana and Illinois National Road, Revisited.

  • Bursting the nostalgia bubble

    How visiting a fellow who lived his whole life on US 40 changed my view of the old roads.

  • A kink in the National Road

    Last year I wrote on my Roads pages about a trip I took with a friend down US 40 and the National Road across western Indiana. We enjoyed finding forgotten and sometimes abandoned segments of the road’s original alignment. Since then, thanks to the gang at the American Road forum, I’ve discovered the Automobile Blue…

  • The National Road in Illinois

    A long trip down the National Road in Illinois, with plenty of old-alignment goodness. They built a new road and left the old one behind, right alongside!