Sunday, June 18, 2017

Salt and Mud: Early Roads and the First Turnpike in Western Pennsylvania

A turnpike being raised

Today, a trip from Meadville to Pittsburgh takes about an hour and half. The worst travelers have to deal with today are the occasional storm, constant road repairs, and the terror of witnessing a driver attempting to merge while texting. Two-hundred years ago, the story was quite different. Obviously 79 did not exist, but neither did many other roads save for the one carved out of the woodlands by the French prior to their expulsion by the British or the many trails left by the native Americans. These same paths became the roads of the pioneers that would settle the area fifty years later until, due to pressure from trade, the first turnpike in Western Pennsylvania was built.