Old National Road in Wayne County

This week I’ll take a break from local history to delve into some history of the area I grew up in. In the spring of 2015 I visited the area of Centerville, Indiana, in Wayne County to see some old friends. While there I visited a few historic sites related to the National Road. We hear a lot about Route 66 and the Lincoln Highway, as well as the Yellowstone Trail, but the National Road was the first federally funded road in the U.S. It originally stretched from Maryland to Illinois. The road was built in stages as funding was available in about the late 1820s into the 1830s. Of course at that time, road building was essentially clearing a path through a lot of wilderness. Trees and tree stumps had to be removed and it had to be done with equipment considered primitive by today’s standards. The National Road came through Indiana and this photo shows a stretch of an old alignment of the road in Richmond. It is near where Interstate 70 crosses U.S. 40 (the National Road was renamed 40) and not far from the Ohio border. Note also the concrete bridge abutments that appear to be fairly old. The National Road faded when the railroads started coming in. Later the road was renamed U.S. 40 and was extended further to the west.

centerville-trip-2015-031

Old National Road in Richmond, Indiana.

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About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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