The Cumberland Road Project

Welcome!
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
Map of the Cumberland Road


The CRP website is divided first, into the broad catagories- the States, the Federal Government and General categories, and then into subcatagories including counties, cities, towns, regions and subjects.

Categories that currently have no information will appear in grey. New information will be added as it becomes available.



I invite you to share your family, business and town histories, information, photographs, references and observations. Your contributions will enhance our collective knowledge of a most important part of America's past.
Email me at: ~Steve Colby, Cumberland Road Project, Cumberland, MD




  Last Update: May 11, 2012