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Column: Drive through history on U.S. 40 in Indiana




A drive across Indiana on the National Road is a trip back in time. This was the route taken in the 19th century by pioneers hauling household goods west in Conestoga wagons, by stagecoaches carrying mail and by farmers moving crops to markets.

Today it’s paved and known as U.S. 40. Though it looks nothing like the primitive roadway it replaced, relics are everywhere. In Centerville, two original mile markers still stand. In Cambridge City, tourists can visit the Huddleston Farmhouse that served as a rest stop for weary travelers. In Stilesville, unmarked graves remember 12 who died of food poisoning en route from Ohio to California gold fields.

The National Road is called “the road that built the nation,” and in many ways it built central Indiana.

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