Sunday, July 08, 2012

The National Road

I've lived in various places in my life, but except for a year overseas and my year at Duke I've always lived within fifty miles of U.S. Route 40. It ran from Atlantic City to San Francisco, and while not as famous as Route 66, but it's arguably more important. The eastern end was originally the National Road, the first highway built by the Federal Government, and one that led to the opening of the West (which meant Illinois, but, hey, it was the 1830s).

In many parts of the country Old 40 is now unmarked, as the highway markers were mostly moved onto Interstate 70. It doesn't even end on the west coast any more, the markers peter out in Utah somewhere.

However, its memory persists. I was in Davis, California last month, and was pleased to find this marker:

US 40 Historical Marker in Davis, California


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