Carolyn's Daily Posts: 2011

May 22, 2011

Dirt Roads More or Less Traveled


CAROLYN’S DAILY POSTS: 2011

DIRT ROADS MORE OR LESS TRAVELED

     When the first group of French émigrés, possessors of deeds to land around Gallipolis, Ohio, traversed Braddock Road/Nemacolan Indian Trail between Cumberland, Maryland and Redstone (currently Brownsville) Pennsylvania (on the Monongahela River), their entourage traveled over twelve foot wide roads that were heavily-forested, often narrower than the required twelve feet, and deeply rutted. They were so bad that it was of course impossible for a vehicle coming in the opposite direction to pass; but on nearly all the mountain ranges, and especially in the low grounds, there were wider places where by some kind of signals or by some preconcerted understanding the packtrains and wagons, which frequently moved in caravans, could meet and pass one another.*

     When I read this I was reminded of the previous day, while driving along one of the narrow Laurel Mountain Borough (Pennsylvania) roads, I met a vehicle coming from the opposite direction. The Borough roads are narrow—ten to twelve feet wide—one car’s wdth. But drivers here are polite when meeting along the way, and will find a way for one of them to pull over. Fortunately, I was next to a driveway which allowed just enough space for a vehicle to pull off the road so that the opposing car can pass.

     Our roads are not mountainous here in the Borough—there is one short steep hill, and several rising grades. They are gravel, and become rutted with winter snows and heavy rains. They do accumulate pot holes. But they rarely, if ever, reach the low standard of the Nemacolan Indian Trail/Braddock Road traveled by wagons and beasts.

     Still, in 2011, the roads are reminiscent of the roads traveled by the French émigrés in 1790.

~~~~~~~~~~~~ 

ADDITIONAL READING:

Seeking History in Brownsville (Redstone), Pennsylvania

Shared Tristram Coffin Ancestry

IT’S NOT THAT SMALL A WORLD

1790′S PAMPHLETEERING VERSUS 2000′S BLOGGING

www.laurelmountainboro.wordpress.com

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