Wednesday, April 9, 2014

1928 Weaver Family drive on the National Road back to Ohio from Washington DC - With Edna and Paul Henry - Tom and Gladys Roehm and Son.

After visiting the east coast, and Washington DC, Noah Elwood Weaver's 1928 album included snap shots of their trip back on the National Hiway, or National Pike as it was in the time which went through the Cumberland Gap to the Ohio River basin.

The National Road, today called U.S. Route 40, was the first highway built entirely with federal funds. The road was authorized by Congress in 1806 during the Jefferson Administration. Construction began in Cumberland, Maryland in 1811. The route closely paralleled the military road opened by George Washington and General Braddock in 1754-55.
By 1818 the road had been completed to the Ohio River at Wheeling, which was then in Virginia. Eventually the road was pushed through central Ohio and Indiana reaching Vandalia, Illinois in the 1830's where construction ceased due to a lack of funds. The National Road opened the Ohio River Valley and the Midwest for settlement and commerce.

From wiki "The National Road (Cumberland Road) was the first major improved highway in the United States to be built by the federal government. The approximately 620-mile (1,000 km) long National Road provided a connection between the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and a gateway to the West for thousands of settlers."


The year 2011 marks the 200th Anniversary of the start of construction on the Cumberland Road / National Road, America's first federally funded interstate highway. Construction began at "a stone at the corner of lot No. 1, in Cumberland, near the confluence of Will's creek and the north branch of the Potomac river" in May, 1811 and ended in Vandalia, Ill. in 1839.

Over its venerable history, the road has gone by various names... The Cumberland Road, The National Turnpike, The National Road, The National Highway and US Route 40, to name but a few. The original Road has been "realigned" and "redirected" in some places over the years, fueled by our need for speedy automobile travel, but, for the most part, the old road lives on.

The history of the Road itself, the planning, construction and politics has been well documented over the last 200 years. The grand purpose of the Cumberland Road Project, instead, is to document the history of the people, families, businesses, towns and cities that grew alongside. What I hope will evolve is cloth woven of personal and family histories, stories of towns, cities and businesses prospering and, sometimes, fading away and observations of travelers, both past and present, of life along the road.

I invite you to share your family histories, information, photographs, references and observations. Your contributions will enhance our collective knowledge of a most important part of America's past.
~ Steve Colby, Cumberland, MD  (I am sending Steve an email to perhaps include some of these photos which need location identification support

Town Hill Mountain, with Tom Roehm leaning on the sign at the left.   Town Hill Hotel at the right. 1928 by Noah Elwood Weaver. page 85 of Album

From the site - Town Hill Mt is the second ridge west of Hancock MD.

 Camp Site, not labeled.  In the album after Town Hill.
"Imperial"  "Gulf" observation gas station.  Paul H Weaver, my father in front with the two Ohio cars on the right.  Page 85 in album
From Steve Colby "
Photo "b" on your blog is Yonkers Store and observatory that used to be atop Polish Mt. East of Flintstone, MD. (The I-68 cut destroyed the Site.) "
 Tom Roehm, son step son Laurence, and wife Gladys,  with Paul Henry and Edna Eicher Weaver on top of viewing tower in Maryland.Polish Mt view east of Flintstone MD.Page 85

Casselman Bridge - Note the large span...
from page 85 of the album by Noah Elwood Weaver
Info from website -

Capt. Hoye on the Casselman Bridge
Bridges and culverts on the Cumberland Road were well built of stone. One of the most noted of the bridges was at the Little Crossings over the Casselman River, then known as "Little Youghiogheny." This 80 foot span was the largest stone arch in America when constructed in 1813. It is said that it was built larger than needed to carry the river water in order that the proposed C. & O. canal might pass under it. A public celebration was held on the day the supporting timbers of the bridge were removed. But people who had seen the arch under construction said it would collapse when the supports were removed. So the superintendent, David Shriver, with a few laborers, on the night before the celebration, quietly removed the "key" of the supporting timbers. The bridge stood without support, as it stands today. It carried the traffic of a great highway for 120 years, until the present iron bridge was built in 1933. ~ Capt. Charles. E. Hoye: The Glades Star, September 30, 1947

Noah Elwood with his straw hat, Big Savage Mt Sign. Photo page 86, likely  by his son Paul Henry Weaver
From Steve Colby
The photo taken atop Big Savage is the Big Savage Hotel (and other names). This page in the Postage library of CRP shows the hotel and a camp:

Noah Elwood and Edna Eicher Weaver stopping for a water break. Page 88 album  Near Uniontown PA. Watering Trough Four Miles East of Uniontown....PA
From Steve Colby
The two people drinking from the trough is most like the Watering Trough on the West side of Laurel Mt. East of Uniontown, PA.  - 
Described here as "The Watering Trough - Four miles east of Uniontown"

Tom's step son Laurence Reichelderfer, Tom Roehm, Edna E Weaver and Tom's wife Gladys , lunch break on wooden fence. Page 86
 Long wavy bridge with cars. Steve Colby thought it S bridge was in Ohio. Page 88 in album In my on line search I found the site: /  On Public Roads.
They posted this low res photo with the ID from ""S" bridge west of Hendrysburg, OH."
Another view, straight on of the "S" bridge west of Hendrysburg, OH- note the brick like surface.P 88
From the, site- Labeled
"As late as the 1930s, U.S. 40 included this National Road "S" bridge west of Hendrysburg, OH. The bridge was replaced with an arch bridge during reconstruction of the highway in 1933. "

Long wavy bridge without cars.National Road, 1927-28 West of Hendrysburg, OH by NEW p88
Noah Elwood Weaver took this close up of the S Bridge West of  Hendrysburg, OH, likely in 1928 as is is posted on page 89 of his travel album I am scanning here in 2014.

From page 43 Ohio National Road Travelers Guide Copyright 2010 by the Ohio National Road Association, Inc. "S Stands for Bridge S-bridges are a unique feature of the National Road. Folklore abounds as to why they were built. One story suggests the s-shape forced drivers to slow their horses, reducing the chance of accidents. Some said the bridges were originally built around huge trees, while others claimed they were the result of inebriat- ed bridge builders. However, there is a logical explanation for Ohio’s crooked bridges. The National Road seldom encountered streams and rivers at a direct 90-degree angle. In order for bridges to be constructed so as to cross these bodies of water at 90 degrees while maintaining the direction and location of the Road, an S-shaped design was select- ed as the solution. The S-shape easily accommodated slow-moving droves of animals and horse and oxen-drawn wag- ons, but with the advent of higher-speed automobile traffic they became a hazard. Most were soon bypassed, although at least one — near Hendrysburg — was straightened in 1933 and continued in use for several more years."

Found this old image of the "Crooked" S Bridge in Hendrysburg Ohio. on Line

Below "Tom"'s son and wife at the opening to a mine with tracks. Page 88 of the Album.

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