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
  • Puff & Stuff owners agree to settlement in federal court

    CUMBERLAND — The owners of Puff & Stuff stores in Cumberland and LaVale agreed to forfeit $173,988 to settle claims that they sold synethic drugs at their stores.

    April 23, 2014

  • Orndorff.jpg Hampshire man sentenced to 40 years plus in child death

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Hampshire County Circuit Court Judge H. Charles Carl III sentenced Cory A. Orndorff, 23, of Green Spring on Wednesday to 40 years for one count of child abuse resulting in the death of an 18-month-old child

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wills Mountain wild fire 70 percent contained

    CENTERVILLE, Pa. — Fire on Wills Mountain that began Saturday reportedly covered more than 800 acres by Wednesday morning and was 70 percent contained, according to a public information officer with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry.

    April 23, 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 23, 2014

  • West Virginia flags lowered for former congressman

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — State and U.S. flags at state facilities are at half-staff in honor of former Rep. Mick Staton.
    Staton died April 14. He was 74.
     

    April 23, 2014

  • Truck catches fire on city bridge

    CUMBERLAND — Cumberland firefighters doused a pickup truck fire on the Baltimore Street bridge spanning Wills Creek about 11 a.m. Tuesday, but not before it destroyed the engine compartment and damaged the passenger area of the Chevrolet.

    April 22, 2014

  • Carbon monoxide causes evacuation at Ramada

    CUMBERLAND — High carbon monoxide readings at the Ramada Inn on George Street resulted in the evacuation of the first floor at midday Tuesday and caused a senior citizen prom to be moved elsewhere.

    April 22, 2014

  • picketing 2-1.jpg Workers begin picketing outside WV Schools for Deaf and Blind

    ROMNEY, W.Va. – Child care workers and union reps began picketing outside the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Tuesday morning.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Romney firefighters get federal grant

    ROMNEY, W.Va. — The Romney Fire Company will receive $67,925 in funding through the Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

    April 22, 2014

  • Sgt. Walter May.jpg Sgt. Walt May earns Award of Merit

    CUMBERLAND — The Maryland Natural Resources Police honored Sgt. Walt May of Westernport during its annual awards ceremony held last week at Chesapeake College.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs
Facebook
Must Read
House Ads
NDN Video
Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County
NDN Video
Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County