An old Native American trail at some point in the eighteenth century acquired the name Nemacolin’s Path. It traversed mountain passes from Maryland northwest to the Forks of the Ohio. Christopher Gist used it in settling west of Chestnut Ridge in the early 1750s. Gist also introduced George Washington to the Nemacolin Path, which Washington used in his mission to the French in 1753 and in the 1754 campaign against Fort Duquesne. A year later Gen. Edward Braddock widened the Nemacolin Path for the passage of his army of 2,200 men, 200 wagons, and artillery train. To this day many portions of this route are known as “Braddock Road” or “Old Braddock Road.” In 1802 Albert Gallatin proposed the use of these paths for development as a primary route to the western lands. The National Road was born in 1806 by a vote of the U.S. Congress. While known as the Cumberland Road and National Road, its most common name was the National Pike, and it was traveled by thousands of settlers heading west in Conestoga wagons and on foot or horseback. Stagecoaches made regular runs over the National Pike, which in the twentieth century became U.S. Route 40. In the latter portion of the century, the massive U.S. 68 obliterated many traces of the original road traveled by George Washington and Edward Braddock, although other portions of the original Braddock Road trace and narrow blacktopped “Old Route 40” remain unaffected.

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