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National Road: History in every mile

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Fayette County History

By Linda Hanabarger

Imagine covered wagons pulled by plodding oxen, dusty trails and arched stone bridges. In your mind’s eye, picture the weary travelers, the men, women and children walking the 1,000 miles beside the wagon as they headed west…to the unknown.
The National Road, also known as the Cumberland Trail, was the first federally funded road in the country. Beginning in Cumberland, Md., the road was completed  to Vandalia by 1836.
The financial panic of 1837 would stop construction at Illinois’ 90th mile – at Vandalia.


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The Leader-Union | circulation@leaderunion.com | 618-283-3374
P.O. Box 315, 229 S Fifth Street, Vandalia, IL 62471
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