Pennsylvania Road, Great Valley Road & Braddock’s Road
The Pennsylvania Road consisted of the Great Conestoga Road & Forbes Road.
During the French and Indian War, troops widened the road to provide passage for
wagon trains. In 1792 the Pennsylvania Legislature established the Philadelphia
and Lancaster Turnpike Road Company. It became the first long-distance paved road.
By 1794 the Lancaster Turnpike went from Philadelphia to Lancaster and was opened
to traffic at a rate of a penny a mile. After it was completed, the charter was
extended to build westward to Pittsburgh.
Great Valley Road, also known as the Great Wagon Road was used by German and Scot-Irish in the early 1700’s. By 1750, wagons and stagecoaches were operating on the road. Settlers traveled the Road from Philadelphia to Virginia following the Yadkin River and became a feeder into the Wilderness Road; the general route today is Interstate 81 or U.S. Highway 11.
Braddock’s Road, was built as a Historic Military Road. Building and getting
the heavy equipment and gun carriages down the steep Allegheny slopes was a challenge.
It was accomplished by using block and tackle to control the rate of descent. Part
of the road was famous for Washington’s first battlefield in 1754 and where Braddock’s
army had an encampment. Subsequently Braddock was killed and buried, right in the
road, so the Indians wouldn’t find him.