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How the trails began, page 5

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Within nine years (1744-1753) only two dozen white people had ventured west of the mountains for the purpose of permanent settlement. These few were so separated one from the other that they never knew of the other's existence. This is perhaps the first instance that the original settlers of the Tableland, from the Youghiogheny to the Greenbrier, have been mentioned together. It is of importance to note that the break-over the mountains was not confined to one section, but from the beginning began all along the line of the entire range of mountains.

The Indian trails, like many of the early roads, have long since been effaced. Perhaps no one living today can, on the spot, follow even the more historic trails very far. Our most reliable record of their actual directions are to be seen on the earliest maps. Of the many running east and west across the Alleghenies from Cambria and Blair Counties in the north to Greenbrier in the south the ones most frequently mentioned, and were most likely the ones commonly used are the following, commencing in the north: (1) The Northern Trail (in vicinity of Route 30 in Penna.), (2) Nemacolin's Path (Rt. 40 follows it in part), (3) McCullough's Traders Path, (4) The North Branch (Potomac) or Horse Shoe Trail, (5) The Greenbrier Trail, (6) The Shawnee Trail. Of these the most historic, and the one most frequently used was The Nemacolin Path. There was one trail that came through the Tableland, in a north-south direction, known as the Seneca Trail, followed in part by Rt. 219. Other well-marked trails running parallel to The Seneca were (1) Canadian Great Warrior Trail, (2) The Du Pratz Indian Trail and (3) The James River Trail. These are the trails on which our history began.


Editor: Felix G. Robinson


Collection Location:
Ruth Enlow Library, Oakland

Original Size:
22 x 15 cms

Maryland, History

Western Maryland, 1750-1963

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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