, West Virginia
February 9, 2001
The first historic structures are the milehouses, and I believe each one has a little museum there. At other points along the way are larger museums, some off the main road with signs to guide the traveler. The natural scenery is nice, too, and we enjoyed it so much, we didn't stop until Scenery Hill, a town full of antique shops and The Century Inn. (See "Dining" entry.) I have traveled the Road on into Uniontown and past into the Laurel Highlands on to Maryland, a beautiful drive all the way. (See my journal on the Laurel Highlands.) The full length of the road, you can stop at a number of historic inns, taverns, and shops, visit farms and historic homes, all once owned by families who figured prominently in the original development of the area, as well as the country. There are many state and national parks, most of them with a historical theme. The theme is often glassmaking, early transportation, steel, fur-trading, farming methods and self-sufficiency, the Underground Railroad, and more, spanning two centuries. One would need to visit often or to live here to exhaust the possibilities for historic adventures.
The important stops on this trip were Scenery Hill and Brownsville. We strolled along the road in Scenery Hill visiting at least eight or ten antique shops, one which had a full suit of armor. They are very interesting antique shops. Then we had dinner and a historical experience at the Century Inn, described in further detail in my "dining" entry. Returning to Washington that night--only a twenty minute drive--we struck out in the morning for Brownsville, where the Flat Iron Building has a little museum with more about the National Road State Heritage Park and where we toured Nemacolin Castle, also described in another "activities" entry. Driving along and stopping here and there, we really felt that we were traveling into the area for the first time long ago. Just one suggestion: drive as far as you wish to go east before you stop and head back to Washington. That way, you'll be traveling in the direction of the expansion of the frontier, and what you see will be a chronologically correct tapestry.
From journal Antique Shopping and Touring around Washington