Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Historical Markers

I also work as an editor over on the Historical Marker Database. It seemed that it might be an interesting idea to not just map historical markers related to the National Road, which we've done, in this series, but also markers merely in the vicinity of the National Road. The following are the historical markers on or near the National Road, in Maryland, for Garrett County and Allegany County.

Look for additional counties in future posts.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Polish Mountain

Polish Mountain is on the National Road, about two miles east of Flintstone, Maryland, in Allegany County. The route of the road on the east side, Maryland State Route 144, remains relatively unchanged. This photograph, taken in 1921, illustrates the east face of the mountain quite well.

U.S Route 40 at Polish Mountain, 1958
The route that is signed as the National Road Scenic Byway, differs somewhat on the western side of the mountain. In 1958, Route 40 (now Maryland 144) removed many of the curves on the National Road for a much easier drive. The old alignment of the National Road is now known as Gilpin Road NE, and provides for a much more fun drive, though it does have fewer places to stop and take photographs, due to very narrow or nonexistent shoulders. This tablet, erected in 1958, is just west of the turnoff for Gilpin Road.

I-68 and Autumn leaves, as seen from the old National Road
The view from the top of Polish Mountain can be quite spectacular. Below, I-68 cuts across the landscape.

This realignment is just the summit, as seen looking west. Note the "lighthouse", on the right side of the road, near the curve, warning motorists to slow down. On the old path of the road, to the left, one can see a vertical bar with diagonal stripes, also warning motorists to slow down.

Seventy five years later, the landscape has changed little. This view shows the same realignment, but as seen from the opposite direction.

The road west from the summit of Polish Mountain was a difficult one. Some period postcards claimed "17 curves," many with sharp drop-offs like this one. The vertical bar with the diagonal stripes was a sort of warning sign, indicating a situation where motorists might need to slow down.

More curves like this one presented themselves as the motorist continued down the mountain. June 1932?

This photo is at the foot of the west slope Polish Mountain looking east showing relocation of the road and the new guard rail. The billboard on the old alignment is for Amoco Motor Oil. It reads "Low cost per mile is what counts!"

Some of the realignments discussed above are illustrated on this map.

All black and white photographs are used courtesy of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library / State Library Resource Center, Baltimore, Maryland. All black and white photographs are by the Maryland State Roads Commission, except for the first one, which is by the Maryland State Department of Forestry.

The Fairview Inn

The Fairview Inn, at milestone 3 on the National Road in Baltimore, is probably best known for its place in this print, in the Cator Print Collection at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, in Baltimore.

It has been used as the background for all of the National Road historical markers erected by America's Byways in Maryland. The one shown here is the general introductory marker, used in many places around the state, here at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore.

This is the only known photograph of the Inn, which was demolished in the 1920s. Some versions of the photograph crop the image a bit wider, to include the milestone, which is just to the right of what you see here. This image is believed to have been made by T. C. Worthington, Jr., circa 1900. (Courtesy of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library / State Library Resource Center, Baltimore, Maryland.)

Milestone 3 M to B
This is the same site, as seen today.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Stackhouse Family Cemetery, Howard County

Private cemetery, National Road, Howard County, Maryland
This seemingly abandoned cemetery sits on the old National Road, two and a half miles west of Lisbon, in Howard County, Maryland. Last names include Stackhouse, Webb, Owings, Hood, Delawder, Burdette and others. Most are from the middle third of the 19th century, though I noticed some as recent as the second quarter of the 20th century.

Heyr Leyeth...
One of the more curious stones was this one, which appears to be carved from slate. I could not make out the inscription.

Samuel T. Burdette
Samuel T. Burdette - Departed this life March 21, 1850, aged 27 years.

Abandoned cemetery, east of Mt. Airy, Maryland
The cemetery is on the right side of the road, when traveling west. More photographs of the site can be found over on my Flickr account, in the set Stackhouse Family Cemetery.

The Construction of the Gwynns Falls Bridge

Construction of the new Frederick Road Bridge
The new bridge, as seen from the south, looking north.

In 1914, a new, concrete arch bridge replaced the existing one over the Gwynns Falls in Baltimore.

These four photographs, all courtesy of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, Central Library / State Library Resource Center, Baltimore, Maryland, document the construction of the new bridge.

This map illustrates the locations from which the photographs were taken. If you click on the cameras, you can see the historical photographs shot from that approximate location.

Frederick Road Bridge over Gywnns Falls
Streetcar passing over the old bridge over Gwynns Falls, with the new bridge in the background.

Construction of the new Frederick Road Bridge, Baltimore
This image was taken at about the same angle as the one above, but much closer.

Frederick Road Bridge over Gywnns Falls
The bridges, as seen from the south.