Online Road Atlas
Highway Chronicle Chapter
American Paths Serve as Early Roads
has not always been a maze of highways,
roads and streets. In fact, shortly after the founding of Ohio and Franklin
County in 1803, the only means of travel were by buffalo traces, Native American
paths, and swift flowing rivers.
throughout the state were those wild thoroughfares with the fewest tree stumps,
potholes and brush. But access to the central Ohio area that would become
Columbus could not be denied.
One of the most significant Native
American routes, adopted by pioneers, was the Scioto Trail that followed the
Scioto, Little Scioto, and Sandusky Rivers from Lower
Shawnee Town (Portsmouth) north to Lake
Erie. The widely traveled path illustrated the economic and social importance of
roadways, serving as a lifeline for the frontier settlements of Chillicothe,
Proximity to the trail was a deciding factor in locating Columbus at the
confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers.
A need for less cumbersome
travel to Newark
lead the state legislature to incorporate
the Franklin Turnpike Company in 1816. Settler and surveyor Lucas
Sullivant, founder of
Franklinton, guided the civic organization that oversaw the joining of old
trails with newly built roads to establish the area's first official highway.
1820, entrepreneur Philip Zinn was operating the first weekly mail and passenger
stagecoach service to Newark, Lancaster,
and Worthington. An early advertisement
proclaimed that a trip from Cincinnati,
and Columbus, to Upper
Sandusky could be made in four
days, traveling 50 miles per day.
is Established as New Ohio Capital