Today, driving along US Route 40 in Garrett County, Maryland, it’s hard to miss the multitude of historic structures: inns, taverns, and log cabins built in the 1700s and 1800s still proudly stand along the road, a testament to the rich history that has followed this route for centuries. It was once known as Nemacolin’s Path, an ancient Indian trail. George Washington famously traveled it in 1755 with Virginia militia and British troops under General Braddock in the French and Indian War. He later advocated the route’s development as a road, while President in the 1780s. In 1806 Congress gave authorization to build the National Road along this route, under the Presidency of Thomas Jefferson. Construction on the nation’s first federally funded road began in 1813.
Along this route is where Dan Schultz of Traveling 219 found the historic Casselman River Bridge, built in 1813 and celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. The bridge was an original part of the National Road, and was the largest single span stone arch bridge at the time of its construction. Dan met local historian Al Feldstein at the bridge, who helped tell the story behind this historic structure. Listen here:
Traveling 219 is supported by Allegheny Mountain Radio and this story was made possible with help from the Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area and the Maryland Heritage Area Authority. For more information about traveling to Garrett County, MD, please call (301) 387-4386, or visit the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce website.
Category: Deep Creek Lake to Elkins