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The Cumberland Road. 1835. Fact 1:. What- The Cumberland Road was the first federal road project. It is how America got the idea to have paved highways for easy travel. . People argued over if the federal government could build across state boundaries.

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Fact 1
Fact 1:

What- The Cumberland Road was the first federal road project. It is how America got the idea to have paved highways for easy travel.


  • Created jobs for a lot of men.

  • People started settling a long the side of the road as it was being built.


The Cumberland Road is made up of turnpikes. They are called turnpikes because whenever a traveler was stopped to pay a toll (fee) the road was blocked by sharp wooden spears called pikes that a man collecting the toll would turn underground so that the traveler could pass.


Fact 2
Fact 2: called turnpikes because whenever a traveler was stopped to pay a toll (fee) the road was blocked by sharp wooden spears called pikes that a man collecting the toll would turn underground so that the traveler could pass.

Who- The federal government paid for the Cumberland Road to be built after people demanded President Jefferson to tie together the East and the early West.



A group of men along the road began to do work on Sundays, gamble on horse races, and heavily drink. The men lived along the sides of the road and worked to build the road. This is how “The Wild West” got its name.


Fact 3
Fact 3: gamble on horse races, and heavily drink. The men lived along the sides of the road and worked to build the road. This is how “The Wild West” got its name.

Where- The Cumberland Road is 621. 4 miles long and approximately 66 feet wide. It goes from Cumberland, Maryland to present day Wheeling, West Virginia.


  • Started construction in Cumberland, Maryland gamble on horse races, and heavily drink. The men lived along the sides of the road and worked to build the road. This is how “The Wild West” got its name.

  • Stopped construction in Wheeling, West Virginia

  • Ends in Vandalia, Illinois

    Cumberland Wheeling Vandalia

  • Cumberland, Effingham, and Fayette that were once occupied with deer, wolves, panthers, wild hogs, and bears were cleared to build towns along the road.


Fact 4
Fact 4: gamble on horse races, and heavily drink. The men lived along the sides of the road and worked to build the road. This is how “The Wild West” got its name.

Why- The Cumberland Road was made to make travel more doable for travelers and make trade with the western states easier and less expensive.


  • Before the Cumberland Road, roads were made of dirt, so travel was difficult.

  • Some people tried to build roads out of planks of wood or logs, which only made it worse.

  • Congress wanted the road to unify America economically, socially, and politically.

  • The federal government thought that the road would help move immigrants to the west


Fact 5
Fact 5: travel was difficult.

When- The Cumberland Road started to be constructed in 1815 and was finished in 1850. Even though construction only stopped once, it took 35 years to build.


Early 1800’s – no good roads, everyone hated travel because it was so challenging

1803 – Congress created the law to build the Cumberland Road

1806 – President Jefferson appointed men to decide the exact rout of the road

1811 – started clearing where the road would be

1815 – construction began

1818 – road reached present day Wheeling, West Virginia


1819 – construction stopped because there was not enough funding to continue the road due to the economic downturn of Panic of 1819

1820’s – construction re-began to Vandalia

1830 – camp meeting started along the road for ministers to preach

1840 – several religious meeting places along the road

1833 – stretched to Columbus, Ohio

1850 – finished at Vandalia, Illinois


h funding to continue the road due to the economic downturn of Panic of 1819


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