States Celebrating the Historic National Road
Now, two centuries later, states are promoting the National Road's historic, cultural and recreational sites as a way to lure tourists from the interstates where speed is the big draw. The road served as a gateway to the West in the early decades of the 19th century, before the expansion of the railroads. It was heavily traveled by stagecoaches and wagons carrying pioneers, adventurers, traders and other travelers.
In Ohio, a stately red brick inn once frequented by presidents hugs the nation's first federally funded interstate highway.
In Pennsylvania, the road passes a battlefield from the French and Indian War. In Indiana, travelers can stop at a cafe known for its pork tenderloin sandwiches.
Authorized by Thomas Jefferson in 1806, the National Road -- also known as America's Main Street -- stretches more than 700 miles through six states, from Maryland through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana to Illinois.
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