In 1806, an act of congress allocated funds for George Washington’s dream of building a road that would carry Americans into the heart of the frontier.  President Thomas Jefferson signed the bill into law, and the National Road was born.

Construction began in Cumberland, Maryland in 1811.  The pike took more than 25 years to build as it traversed Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and the western states of Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.  Construction was halted in the late 1830’s due to lack of money.

1004097When finished, the National Road connected the capitals Columbus, Indianapolis and Vandalia with the cities of the east.


Abraham Lincoln was an Illinois Representative when the National Road came to Vandalia, the Capital of the state.