National Road
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The old National Road was built through Guernsey county in 1827 and 1828. By an act of Congress in 1806, a road to be constructed at federal expense, from Cumberland, Maryland, to the river Ohio, was authorized. Work on the highway was begun in 1812, and it was completed to Wheeling West Virginia, in 1818. The average cost of the road from Cumberland to Wheeling, which included the cost of masonry, bridges and culverts, as approximately $13,000 per mile.

Immediately following the completion of the National Road to Wheeling a flood of traffic swept over it. The West had been opened up for settlement, and people were pouring into it for the purpose of making their future homes there. They traveled as far as Wheeling by way of the new federal road and crossed into Ohio by ferry. Zane's Trace was then followed to the interior of the state.
Henry Clay Favored the Road. But Zane's Trace as poor excuse for a road; it was but little more than a trail through the forest. The original purpose in building the National Road was to provide a way whereby the people migrating to the West might get over the mountains. It was believed that they would then navigate the river and thus reach their destinations in that way.
Many preferred to travel overland from Wheeling westward, and so an extension of the road from that place through the state of Ohio. was asked of Congress. Many members of congress objected to building the road further. Among those who favored it and worked for an appropriation was Henry Clay to whom much credit for the National Road has been given. The people were so grateful to Clay that it is said, he could travel from one end of the road to the other and find toll gates and taverns opened free to him.
Work Was Begun in Ohio in 1825. It was on March 3, 1825, that an appropriation of $150,000 was made by Congress for building the road from Wheeling to Zanesville. Two years later an additional $170,000 was allowed. The work was begun at St. Clairsville, July 4, 1828. Within the next two or three years it was being carried through Guernsey county.
The law providing the appropriation provided further that the road should go west on the straightest possible line. This is the general course through Guernsey county. The average cost per mile in this county was $3,400. This included three inches of broken stone, masonry, bridges and culverts.