Cumberland Times-News

Latest news

August 3, 2013

Local historian leading charge to preserve sections of National Road

Stone culverts located between I-68, Braddock Road also part of effort

CUMBERLAND — Local historican Steve Colby has been trying for years to preserve sections of the original Cumberland Road/National Road that runs parallel to Braddock Road and two stone culverts located in that vicinity.

“This section of road served as the way to the West from 1811 to 1832, when the route through the Narrows and LaVale was completed,” said Colby.

Colby has contacted Tiffany Ahalt, byway manager for the Maryland National Road Association, about getting the culverts and the road listed on the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. The association gets all kinds of requests from people all along the 170-mile corridor of the National Road regarding historic preservation, according to Ahalt.

“We get requests on a weekly basis and up until this point we couldn’t move forward,” said Ahalt.

The association recently created a preservation committee to deal with requests like Colby’s and to find funding for those requests, according to Ahalt.

“Steve really is an advocate for the National Road. We need more people like him to be a spokesperson for the National Road,” said Ahalt, who encouraged him to keep holding on.

Representatives from the entire corridor are still being added to the preservation committee.

“We would love to have a representative from Western Maryland to serve on the committee,” said Ahalt.

Stones from the arch of the above-ground culvert have been falling out and the condition of the below-ground culvert is hard to determine, according to Colby. Colby estimated that it wouldn’t cost much to repair the culverts and listing the culverts on the historic inventory would make it easier to get the money needed to repair them.

Colby determined via tax maps that the State Highway Administration likely owns the property where the above-ground stone culvert is located.   

“I know the stone culverts have been viewed/surveyed by various state officials as well as SHA archaeologists,” wrote Colby on the Facebook page he created to bring attention to the matter. “Despite efforts to get down state officials to recognize the historic significance of the stone culverts, we have been unsuccessful in getting any recognition for the 1811 road.”

The Facebook page encourages residents to contact SHA.

“I think the problem with the culverts is that history isn’t glamorous,” said Colby. “A lot of people don’t seem to care.”

Anyone may submit information about a property for inclusion in the state inventory, but the information must meet specific guidelines and standards, according to the MIHP website. The inventory is a repository of information on districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects of known or potential value to the prehistory and history of the state. One of the objectives of the Maryland National Road Association is to get the Maryland Historical Trust to consider roads, according to Ahalt.

A section of the Cumberland Road runs above the stone culverts, which are located between Interstate 68 and Braddock Road.

Colby also tried to submit the section of the Cumberland Road to the National Scenic Byways Program to no avail. Under the NSB program, the U.S. secretary of transportation recognizes certain roads as National Scenic Byways or All-American roads based on their archaeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational and scenic qualities.

In addition to the preservation committee, the MNRA also just created a Corridor Partnership Plan that will serve as basically a bible to MNRA for promotion and preservation.

“Preservation, promoting the National Road and businesses that preserve it are becoming a more important aspects of our organization,” said Ahalt.

MNRA is a nonprofit organization that acts as the keeper of the Maryland Historic National Road, according to its website.

In 1806, Congress authorized the establishment of a road running from Cumberland to the Ohio River. This National Road (alternately referred to as the National Turnpike, Cumberland Road or Cumberland Turnpike) facilitated America’s westward expansion and would eventually extend to Vandalia, Ill., according to the MNRA website.

For more information on MNRA, visit http://marylandnationalroad.org/.

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at eblaisdell@times-news.com.

1
Text Only
Latest news
  • Springs, Pa., man missing since Jan. 6

    SPRINGS, Pa. — Pennsylvania State Police are seeking help to find a Springs man missing since Jan. 6.

     

    April 19, 2014

  • Man charged with handgun crime

    Timothy Hart Winkler, 30, Grantsville, was arrested by city officers early Friday after a complainant and a witness said he pulled a handgun during an argument in front of 124 Seymour St.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Redman.asp.jpeg Moorefield man jailed on felony drug count

    KEYSER, W. Va. — A Moorefield man was arrested on various charges Thursday, including a felony drug offense for possession of amphetamines, according to the Keyser Police Department.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • City woman charged in domestic call

    CUMBERLAND — A city woman was arrested Thursday evening after Cumberland Police investigated a domestic assault complaint in the 100 block of Pennsylvania Avenue.

    April 18, 2014

  • Carlton.jpg Arrest made in alleged drug deal

    CUMBERLAND — A 25-year-old city man was arrested Thursday night after Cumberland Police observed him allegedly taking part in a drug deal on Columbia Street.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff warns of scams targeting taxpayers

    CUMBERLAND — Allegany County Sheriff Craig Robertson cautioned residents Thursday to be aware of continuing telephone scams that are targeting taxpayers.

    April 17, 2014

  • DSC_0446.JPG Oakland returns to normal after tanker accident

    OAKLAND — Nearly 12 hours after a propane tanker overturned in the heart of its business district, the town of Oakland returned to normal early Wednesday night.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • New River Gorge bald eagle dies from injuries

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A female bald eagle that nested in the New River Gorge has died from injuries suffered last month when she was hit by a train and later by a vehicle.
     

    April 17, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:
     

    April 17, 2014

  • Park Service opens Canal Classrooms Park Service opens Canal Classrooms

    CUMBERLAND – The National Park Service held a ribbon-cutting event Wednesday for a new program called Canal Classrooms, which will offer students pre-K through fifth grade accredited classwork on the Canal Place grounds.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday
NDN Video
Jabari Parker's Top 5 Plays From Duke Career Kourtney Kardashian Is a Bikini Babe More Manpower Than Ever Expected At 4/20 Rally Debunk'd: Miley Cyrus AIDS, Cheeseburgers Cause Cancer, Military Warning Bill Previewing the NBA playoffs Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite My name is Cocaine Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday