Mile Markers

Many mile markers can still be found along the National Road, some well-maintained, others deteriorating, and yet others represented by modern replacements.

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Speaking of mile markers, these structures were unique to the National Road versus other early famous highways in the United States is the establishment of mile markers along the northern side of the road. Each marker gives the distance to Cumberland, Md., as well as closer cities and towns. The shape and size of each marker varies along the road, as the design changes based on where the markers were made. For examples, mile markers from Brownsville, Pa., to Cumberland were made in Connellsville, Pa., and are all similar, as are markers from Brownsville to Wheeling, W.Va., which  were produced in Brownsville.

These mile markers were made of stone or cast iron, and while some originals do exist, most that currently stand are full or partial replicas. Some portions of the National Road have had better luck preserving the markers than other areas, such as a series of six markers in eastern Ohio County, W.Va., which are on the National Register of Historic Places (see the original application here). Nevertheless, each is still a historic and unique feature for this highway. I don’t know of a database which has a listing of all currently existing mile markers, but such a site would be great for researchers.

Cheers, Mi3ke


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