A Travellerspoint blog

The National Road

Leaving Ohio for Uniontown


View 2004 Peripetic Summer on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

We left town by way of Ohio route 58 toward Wellington. We took Ohio 58 south out of Oberlin to Pittsfield and then to Wellington. I didn't like the Ohio Turnpike and didn't want to go back that way. The road is flat, straight, rural and has no traffic this early on Sunday morning.
Dairy Farm north of town

Dairy Farm north of town


I read information out of the AAA book as we drove through. Although Wellington is only a couple of miles south of Oberlin, without a car (and women were not allowed to own any motorized vehicle) it might as well have been on the moon, and I do not remember ever visiting.

Wellington Ohio was settled in 1818 by Ephraim Wilcox, Charles Sweet, William T. Welling, and John Clifford, among others. The township was organized three years later in 1821. The Wellington name honored William Welling, one of the original settlers, and also honored the "Iron Duke," the Duke of Wellington. The teams in Wellington are apparently named "The Dukes". The water tower has a picture of a 'Duke' on it
Wellington water tower

Wellington water tower


and some of the houses in town have a football with a local player's number on it. After Dr. D. Z. Johns was instrumental in getting the railroad run to Wellington (right through the center of town) in 1850, John Swift was elected the first mayor in 1855. Among the local businesses was one of the most powerful manufacturers of carriages in the world, the E.S. Tripp Carriage Works.
Coming into Wellington

Coming into Wellington

Wellington was the "Cheese Capital of the World" from around 1868 until about 1910. because the railroad gave good transportation out of the area because the rich fields allowed large dairy farms.
Railroad line

Railroad line


In 1878 alone, 6,465,674 pounds of cheese were shipped out of Wellington along with 1,001,661 pounds of butter. One of the largest of the more than 40 cheese companies was Horr, Warner & Company.
street Scene

street Scene

Wellington town hall built in 1885

Wellington town hall built in 1885


According to the History of Wellington: "It is a little known fact that the railway mail catcher was invented in Wellington. L.F. Ward was contacted by the postal service about figuring out a way for trains to pick up and deliver mail without slowing down. He came up with the idea and built it. After finding that the device worked wonderfully, he patented the idea."

Other Wellington claims to fame include being the home of Myron T. Herrick and Archibald M. Willard

If Wellington has a 'must-see', this is it. It's about the only thing to see in Wellington as far as I can determine. Wellington is very proud of the fact that it was the home of Archibald M Willard between 1855 and 1875. Archibald M. Willard spent much of his life painting in Ohio and after the death of his father. he painted the famous "Spirit of '76" in 1875

Spirit of '76

Spirit of '76

This museum has a copy of the painting along with many paintings by Willard, and Revolutionary and Civil War artifacts. There is another copy in the town library. We did not stop, but I took a photo of the museum as we drove by.
Museum from the car

Museum from the car


The museum has no website as far as I can determine. The museum is free. After we left Wellington, we drove south on Ohio 58 and then turned east going around Lodi. At 1009 after 47 miles, we picked up I-76 near Westfield Center and went south around Akron.

We stopped for lunch at McDonalds ($8.35) at 1130 just before the end of the Ohio turnpike (124 miles) and paid $2.75 toll (individual toll stations of $1, $1 and 75 cents which we were not prepared for) before finally exiting the toll roads in Pennsylvania at 1350. Leaving Ohio and proceeding east, I accessed the MS roads program and could not find any place to stay south of Fort Necessity. I DID want to stop at Ft. Necessity since we had gone there on our honeymoon 45 years earlier. I wanted to go as far as possible towards home, but it looked like Uniontown was the only place to stay in the area, even though that left the majority of the trip for the next day. I also knew that the Motel 8 was full for that night.

From here we went to Uniontown to spend the night.
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When my son and DIL were living in Pittsburgh, we would drive up from Baltimore to see them. Most of the time, people went up Route 70 and took the Pennsylvania Turnpike. But we usually went on up I-68 and turned off to go north to Uniontown on US Route 40 (the National Road). We went around Uniontown on the bypass, and came into Pittsburgh from the south. But, I always thought Uniontown looked like it might be an interesting place, so this time we stopped here for the night.
House outside Uniontown advertising tattoos

House outside Uniontown advertising tattoos

We got to Uniontown and registered at the Hampton Inn
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(the Super 8 across the road was full) by 1416 after 231 miles. The Hampton Inn is on the west side of town right on Route 40.
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The Hampton Inn was a bit more expensive than the Super 8. We had a double queen, non-smoking with AARP discount for $89.10 plus tax, but I like it better. This hotel has an indoor pool which is open from 6 am to 10 pm. and was right down the corridor from our room. There were free local calls to the surrounding area so I could access the internet from my room and the staff are nice and helpful. The beds were comfortable and there was no noise problem. The Hampton Inn also gives you more than the absolute minimum of towels and their in-room info had local restaurant numbers and menus. Within .6 mile you can dine at Bob Evens, Ponderosa, or Red Lobster. There is also a Marathon gas station across the way.,

We rested a bit, and I did email. Then we drove out to Searight Toll House on the National Road
National road through rain spotted windshield

National road through rain spotted windshield


Mileage marker

Mileage marker

Mileage marker and National Road sign

Mileage marker and National Road sign


A 90-mile stretch of the Historic National Road in Pennsylvania has been designated as the National Road State Heritage Corridor. The National Road was the first federally funded road in the United States. A portion of the road is currently known as Route 40. There are four historic eras:

  • Early Trails & Military Roads (pre-1800) Nemacolin's Trail and Mingo's Path. Some of this road was originally built by Washington prior to the French and Indian War.
  • Construction of the National Road (1806-1835). In 1806, President Thomas Jefferson signed the Act to construct this highway, with strong urging of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of the Treasury and the "father" of the National Road. Gallatin was a Swiss imigrant who served thirteen years as Secretary of the Treasury during the Jefferson and Madison administrations. In that time he reduced the national debt, purchased the Louisiana Territory and funded the Lewis & Clark exploration in addition to getting the National Road funded. His home is a museum near Uniontown.
  • Toll Road Era (1836-1900)
  • - Automobile Era (1900s on)

In Pennsylvania, the corridor passes through the historic districts of Uniontown, Brownsville and Washington. Other small communities (formerly pike towns) include Addison, Beallsville, Centerville, Claysville, Hopwood, Scenery Hill and West Alexandria. The annual National Road Festival is held every year on the third weekend in May. A wagon train comes into town, which sounds really interesting.
National Road with sign

National Road with sign


Coming toward tollhouse from the east

Coming toward tollhouse from the east

Tollhouse next to the road

Tollhouse next to the road


Searights Tollhouse was built in 1835 and was restored in 1966 which is was listed on the National Registry. It is an octagonal builting in the Greek Revival Style which is 5 miles west of Uniontown on US Rte. 40 (the National Road in Menallen Township, Fayette County
Foundation Material: Stone
Roof Material: Shingle
Exterior Wall Materials: Brick
Stories: 2
The sign on it said it was a museum, but no hours were posted. It was certainly closed when we went.
Plaque on tollhouse

Plaque on tollhouse

Top of the toll list

Top of the toll list

Bottom of the toll list

Bottom of the toll list

Sign with toll house behind it

Sign with toll house behind it

Tollhouse

Tollhouse


and then had an early dinner at Coal Barons restaurant.
Heliopad

Heliopad


We saw this restaurant as we drove into Uniontown on Route 40. It is about 2 miles from the Hampton Inn. Valet parking is available. There was also an old heliopad behind the parking lot. The sign has CoalBaron as all one word.
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This is a nice restaurant with table cloths and real glasses. The decorations included lights outlining the mine head machinery which is behind Bob.
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The menu has a coal miner on it.
Menu

Menu


The entrees included soup, salad, a vegetable, and a starch, in addition to the entree. A dessert was also included in the price.
For the soup, I had
Clam chowder

Clam chowder


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I had the orange roughy stuffed with crabmeat, and
Twice baked potato for $18.95

Twice baked potato for $18.95

The meal for the two of us (drinking iced tea was which was $41.82 plus an $8.00 tip.

Then we went into town to get fuel
Coming into town on Route 40

Coming into town on Route 40


(only Sweet Peas/Marathon had diesel and it was $1.83/gal for 8 gals)
Storefront with local people

Storefront with local people


and drove around in historic downtown Uniontown

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Fayette Bank Building

Fayette Bank Building


The historic district is the original area of the town (which was roughly Main St., between Court St. and Mill St.). Uniontown was founded July 4, 1776 (so Independence Day is a double birthday here - the country and the town). Uniontown became the county seat of the new county of Fayette in 1783. The original historic district was expanded in the 90s to an area between 9 E Peter St. 18 N Beeson St.

Walking tour brochures are available by contacting the Uniontown Downtown Business Authority. Historic buildings, churches, and houses date back to two eras of great prosperity, National Road days, 1818-1853; and the Coal and Coke Boom, 1880-1950. There are 234 buildings identified as being within the district, but not all of them are historic.

Old West School at dusk

Old West School at dusk


Closeup of Old West school

Closeup of Old West school

Cemetery from the car

Cemetery from the car

Great Bethel Baptist Church

Great Bethel Baptist Church

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

Trinity United Presbyterian from the back

Trinity United Presbyterian from the back

World War I monument

World War I monument


Uniontown is the birthplace and boyhood home of General George C. Marshall, Army chief of staff in World War II, Secretary of State and Defense, and Nobel Prize winner. It is now the VFW Home. A memorial in his honor has been built on the triangular plot across the Street from the VFW Home, across from the World War I "doughboy" monument. Both sites were decorated with flags because it was Memorial Day.
Monument

Monument

Posted by greatgrandmaR 02:01 Archived in USA

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Comments

Sorry, I did read the rest of the post too (and get hungry by looking at that clam chowder..) but Women were not allow to own motorized vehicle?? In 2004??

by hennaonthetrek

No- that was when I was in college in 1955 to 1959. Women were not allowed to own a motor vehicle or get married without the permission of the dean. Men could own a car, but they had to park it and turn the license plates in to the dean when they got to school. They could own and use motorcycles. It was an attempt to deal with the lack of parking

by greatgrandmaR

This day and age sounds bizarre way of dealing with parking issues..

by hennaonthetrek

It was a small town - we didn't really need cars.
Most of the college buildings were around a central one block square. In those days, girls were still considered to be in need of protecting. They weren't really allowed in the men's dorms. The men had to leave the girls dorms by 10. When I was a freshman we had a housemother who expected that our feet had to be on the floor at all times. And we had a curfew. The men were allowed to live out in town. And they didn't have a curfew. They didn't have to live in a college dorm. Women were not allowed to do that. This was even though Oberlin was the first co-ed college in the US dating back to 1837. In 1955 the men had 11 varsity sports. The women had none.

by greatgrandmaR

Men were allowed to have motor scooters or motor cycles. Women were not.

by greatgrandmaR

I guess it is good that there wasn't long distances then. Also good to look out for eachother. As for the rest, well, Womens right movement did a great job. If not for them I wouldn't be doing the job I am doing right now. :)

by hennaonthetrek

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