Historic National Road – WV
- DesignationAll-American Road (2002)
- Intrinsic QualitiesCultural, Historic
- LocationIL, IN, MD, OH, PA, WV
- Length16 of 824 total miles
The Historic National Road was the nation's first federally funded interstate highway. It opened the nation to the west and became a corridor for the movement of goods and people. Today, visitors experience a physical timeline, including classic inns, tollhouses, diners, and motels that trace 200 years of American history.
Story of the Byway
The National Road (also known as the Cumberland Road) was the first major improved highway in the U.S. built by the federal government between 1811 and 1837. The 620-mile road connected the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and was a main transport path West for thousands of settlers.
Traveling the West Virginia Section: Follow US 40 through the state from the WV/PA border on the east to the WV/OH border on the west.
Points of Interest
Museums of Oglebay Institute
By the early 1900s, nearly half of America’s pressed-glass tableware was manufactured in the Wheeling-Pittsburgh corridor, and one out of every 10 Wheeling workers was employed in the glass industry. Oglebay Institute’s Glass Museum honors this legacy through a world-class collection of more than 3,500 examples of Wheeling-made glass and china. The famous Sweeney Punch Bowl, the largest piece of cut glass in the world, is a highlight of the museum. Visitors can also experience the art of glassmaking through live demonstrations and workshops in OI’s glass studio.
Madonna of Trail Statue
"Madonna of the Trail is a series of 12 monuments dedicated to the spirit of pioneer women in the United States. The monuments were commissioned by the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR). They were installed in each of the 12 states along the National Old Trails Road (Route 40), which extended from Bethesda, Maryland, to Upland, California. Created by sculptor August Leimbach and funded by contributions, the Madonna of the Trail monuments were intended to provide a symbol of the courage and faith of the women whose strength and love aided so greatly in conquering the wilderness and establishing permanent homes.
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum
Nostalgic place with extensive exhibits of classic toys as well as operating model train layouts.
Historic West Virginia
Beginning your journey in Mount Echo along this portion of Historic National Road you are not going to be doing much driving, as it is a family short drive, but there are so many different activities to experience along the way. Head west along route 40 and pick up some food in Roney’s point, as there are plenty of local restaurants to stop by. As you continue, you will need to make a stop at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum. There are classic toys and train layouts that are fun for the entire family and is a wonderful location along the Byway.
The Madonna of the Trail Statue, which is one of many located along Historic National Road, marks your entrance into the city of Wheeling, where most of the fun will be had. In and around Wheeling there are many parks and areas to stop by and take in the beauty of Jake’s Run and other natural formations. This area is a real hotbed of culture, ad it is close to the border of both Maryland and Ohio.
There is no shortage of possibility located in Wheeling, and here are some of the spots you must visit during your trip. If you are a history buff, there is a historic district located here in addition to museums such as Oglebay’s Museum and The Point Overlook Museum. The B&O Railroad is also located through this city and you can take in the beautiful sights in addition to learning about this historic railroad. The possibilities are endless, but these are just some of the many attractions you can find at the end of your trip!
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