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An Original Section Of The Old Cumberland Road


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#1 Steve_Colby

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 11:31 AM

In an recent email conversation with Bob Bantz, noted authority on Braddock's Road, I was discussing a group of 1920-30s era SHA maps documenting changes to be made to Braddock Road/SRT 49. Braddock Road is the original route of the Cumberland Road before in was rerouted through the Narrows (1830s). The SHA map included a stone spring culvert which I'll certain was part of the original CR. This area is lodged between the backfill of I-68 and the 1930s and later Braddock Road. Bob examined the area carefully and spoke with local SHA officials. The general conclusion is that Bob has found an undisturbed section of the Cumberland Road dating to 1811-24. This section would not have been part of the 1830s rebuild of the road A search of the area with a metal detector turned up a few wagon nails, a piece of lead and a later coin.
This could well be the only existing 1811-1830s section of road left.

Steve

#2 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 04 September 2011 - 07:21 PM

In an recent email conversation with Bob Bantz, noted authority on Braddock's Road, I was discussing a group of 1920-30s era SHA maps documenting changes to be made to Braddock Road/SRT 49. Braddock Road is the original route of the Cumberland Road before in was rerouted through the Narrows (1830s). The SHA map included a stone spring culvert which I'll certain was part of the original CR. This area is lodged between the backfill of I-68 and the 1930s and later Braddock Road. Bob examined the area carefully and spoke with local SHA officials. The general conclusion is that Bob has found an undisturbed section of the Cumberland Road dating to 1811-24. This section would not have been part of the 1830s rebuild of the road A search of the area with a metal detector turned up a few wagon nails, a piece of lead and a later coin.
This could well be the only existing 1811-1830s section of road left.

Steve


Steve,

Well that was just enough to titillate! B) :rolleyes: If the exact location is not to be revealed yet (if that is the intent), how long is it....10 feet, 100 feet, a quarter mile?

In any event, that is quite the find, and it must be fun to have contributed to the discovery. Kudos to you and Bob!

Dave

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#3 mobilene

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 10:05 AM

This sounds like a great find! I hope photos will follow... -Jim

#4 Steve_Colby

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 10:54 AM

The original section of road. (Just down for the old stone culvert.) Adjacent to actor Bill Macys's childhood home.
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SHA recently flattened two old railroad crossings (circa 1850s and later) in this area and Bob got these shots showing the 1930s road overlay on the old road.

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The stone culvert.

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Steve

Edited by Steve_Colby, 05 September 2011 - 02:07 PM.


#5 Steve_Colby

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 01:30 PM

Steve: I'm getting "Not Found" messages for jpg4/5/6/10 above. All others show up properly.


Thanks, all fixed.

Edited by Steve_Colby, 05 September 2011 - 02:07 PM.


#6 Steve_Colby

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 02:02 PM

Thia is one of my photos showing the spring culvert, with a short section of old road above. I've marked the location of I-68 and Braddock Road.
The section of road Bob found was to the west and few hundred feet.

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#7 DennyG

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 08:37 PM

Wonderful discovery. Exciting and then some!

#8 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 05 September 2011 - 11:39 PM

Steve,

Thanks for the terrific photos. Actually the most impressive for me is the one showing the 1930 layers on top the broken stone that must have been the old road. Very impressive proof.

I was surprised at how little growth there was in the old roadbed. When do you surmise the road was abandoned? It looks like perhaps the early 1930's (perhaps later), based on the lack of tree trucks, or even saplings in the roadbed.

That is one terrific discovery! Keep us posted!

Dave

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#9 Steve_Colby

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 08:35 AM

Dave,
I too noticed the lack of growth as well as the new growth on the site. I believe the area must have cleared by the I-68 crews in the 1980s.

#10 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 10:21 AM

Dave,
I too noticed the lack of growth as well as the new growth on the site. I believe the area must have cleared by the I-68 crews in the 1980s.


Steve,

Makes sense.

What a discovery! If that isn't the holiest of the holy grail, I don't know what is. I get excited way out here on the west coast. I recall in college some discussion of the National Road, or the Cumberland Road and now there is a pristine section to see. I hope no one "reconstructs" or restores it.

But now I have a problem. What is left to discover? Fifty years of looking for old roads, and now its been done. :blink: B) :) Maybe I'll take up stamp collecting!?

Dave

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#11 Steve_Colby

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:15 PM

Just to the west of the first culvert is a second. Most of it has been buried and hopefully, preserved. The second photo shows the remains of the retaining wall on the right side of this culvert. Both culverts have short sections of road atop them. Bob's section is to the west of the second culvert.

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~Steve

#12 DennyG

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 01:52 PM

Wow. It just keeps getting better.

#13 Steve_Colby

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Posted 06 September 2011 - 03:01 PM

Believe it or not, we have repeatedly tried to get some kind of historical recognition for the culverts without success.

#14 mobilene

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 10:49 AM

These photos are beyond amazing. Seeing them makes me want to bail out of work, speed all the way to Maryland, and come see!

Do you have GPS coordinates for these locations?

-Jim

#15 mga707

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 07:08 PM

Just a thought that popped into my head: Did anyone shine a lantern or spotlight into either culvert, just to see what, if anything (other than an unhappily disturbed skunk or raccoon) might be in there?

#16 Steve_Colby

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 09:21 AM

Just a thought that popped into my head: Did anyone shine a lantern or spotlight into either culvert, just to see what, if anything (other than an unhappily disturbed skunk or raccoon) might be in there?



As befitting a spring culvert, there is a wall in the back.

#17 Steve_Colby

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 09:26 AM

These photos are beyond amazing. Seeing them makes me want to bail out of work, speed all the way to Maryland, and come see!

Do you have GPS coordinates for these locations?

-Jim


Approx. location (within 50 feet or so)39.64058, -78.81739

#18 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 18 September 2011 - 08:10 PM

Approx. location (within 50 feet or so)39.64058, -78.81739


Steve,

Thanks for the coordinates. That helps a lot.

Google Earth has an 1897 USGS overlay of that area. You probably have done that already, but if not, you may find it interesting.

Dave

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#19 Steve_Colby

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Posted 19 September 2011 - 02:10 PM

Steve,

Thanks for the coordinates. That helps a lot.

Google Earth has an 1897 USGS overlay of that area. You probably have done that already, but if not, you may find it interesting.

Dave

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Dave,
I was unaware of the overlay. I tied to figure out how to access it without success, what do I do?

~Steve

#20 Keep the Show on the Road!

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Posted 20 September 2011 - 09:05 AM

Dave,
I was unaware of the overlay. I tied to figure out how to access it without success, what do I do?

~Steve


Steve,

It has been a couple of years since I implemented the historic map overlay library, so I have forgotten the exact setup details. But you will find them here:

http://www.gelib.com...raphic-maps.htm

Near the bottom of the page there is a button to download the KML file. You may have to experiment a bit.

What you should end up with is a Places entry that lists categories of historic topo overlays. Clicking on the check box will display hundreds of boxes (which are the maps) on your Google Earth map, and clicking on the dot in the center of a rectangle (box) should bring up the map for that area, overlaid on the GE map. Then the slider on the left will allow you to adjust the opacity of the historic map and allow you to see the modern map as well.

I use it all the time, to my great satisfaction. I'm sure you will be up and running quickly, but if you encounter a glitch, I will go back through the set up myself and advise how I proceeded. I'm sure you will find it worth the effort.

Dave

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