Historic Preservation

Preservation, conservation and enhancement strategies are needed on an ongoing basis to guide future corridor investments and priorities. These organizations and resources are instrumental in the preservation of the Maryland Historic National Road.

Endangered Historic Sites

The Historic National Road

Unregulated development risks, locations of alternative energy sources such as wind turbines and solar panels risk the historic integrity of this designated National Road Scenic Byway.


Fuller Baker Log House

Located in Grantsville (Garrett County) is the Fuller-Baker Log House. This humble log cabin is a rare survivor of a common dwelling built by early settlers on the Allegheny frontier. Built after 1813 as a two-story log building, its large size has led some to believe it was once used as a tavern, giving respite to travelers along the National Road. It would be the only log tavern to survive on the old National Road between Cumberland and Wheeling, West Virginia.

The house sits on land with an early-American pedigree. General Braddock’s British army chose the site for its fifth camp as it marched to meet the French at Fort Duquesne in 1755.


Lisbon Hotel

Located on Route 144 in Lisbon (Howard County) is the Lisbon Hotel, built by Caleb Pancoast and reputed to be the oldest surviving building in the village, according to a 1986 Lisbon Historic District guide. The same guide calls it a “grand hotel” by the 1860s, attracting visitors from Baltimore by coach and by train. From Howard’s Roads to the Past, by Barbara Feaga, we learn that the hotel also housed a post office in 1851.


Mile Markers

Maryland is said to have the most well preserved collection of original mile markers on the Historic National Road. Protected under the Maryland Historical Trust they are still vulnerable to development, weather elements and overall neglect.


The Arabber Community of Baltimore

Baltimore-Arabbers-Image2The Arabbers, horse-cart vendors who are famous for their distinctive wagons and harnesses, are part of a folk tradition unique to Baltimore. Baltimore is one of the last cities to have horse-cart vendors. The Arabber population is in decline and faces a wide variety of complex issues from the cost of humanely caring for their horses, to the cost of their wares and limits on the places and hours Arabbers are allowed to work. Arabbing and recycling (an Arabber tradition) continue with trucks and pushcarts at the Fremont St. Arabber Center. Three horse-drawn wagons operate from the Carlton Street Stable. Repairs and maintenance are still needed at the Arabber Center and two remaining stables.

(text source: Endangered Maryland/Preservation Maryland)


Westside SuperBlock

Baltimore’s Westside was listed on the National Trust for Historic Places’ 11 Most Endangered List in 1998 because of threats to its outstanding collection of historically and culturally significant buildings. While there has been much success in the area, some parts, in particular the Superblock, are still under threat from deterioration and demolition. Of particular concern is the status of Read’s Drugstore at the corner of Howard and West Lexington streets; the store was the site of a 1955 protest by Morgan State University students that led to the end of “white-only” lunchrooms at the chain of popular drug stores.

(text source: Endangered Maryland/Preservation Maryland and BNHA)

Historic National Road Guidelines

When developing or re-developing landscapes or residential and commercial properties along the Historic National Road, we encourage planners, developers and individual property owners to utilize the following resources as a guide help preserve the historical significance of the Road.

Maryland State Highway Administration

Context Sensitive Roadway Design Guidelines – A document providing guidelines to identify ways to guide growth, change, and roadside development along the Historic National Road in Maryland. This is a companion to the Maryland State Highway Administration’s Context Sensitive Roadway Design Guidelines.


Maryland Historical Trust

The Maryland Historical Trust (Trust) is a state agency dedicated to preserving and interpreting the legacy of Maryland’s past. Through research, conservation and education, the Trust assists the people of Maryland in understanding their historical and cultural heritage. The Trust is an agency of the Maryland Department of Planning and serves as Maryland’s State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966.


New Jersey Historic Roadway Study and Design Guidelines


Ohio Historic National Road Guidelines


National Trust for Historic Preservation

At the National Trust for Historic Preservation, we work to preserve and protect landscapes, buildings, and neighborhoods that have played a meaningful role in our past. We want future generations to be able to experience and discover their own connections to these places, as well.


Preservation Maryland

Founded in 1931 as the Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities, Preservation Maryland is dedicated to preserving Maryland’s historic buildings, neighborhoods, landscapes, and archaeological sites through outreach, funding, and advocacy.


Preservation Howard County

The mission of Preservation Howard County is to actively pursue the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of Howard County, Maryland and to increase public awareness and appreciation of our non-renewable resources.


Washington County Historical Trust

Washington County Historical Trust was founded in 1982 as an effort to save Wilson Bridge on Route 40. Wilson, the first of the county’s stone arch bridges, was built in 1819 as part of the Bank Road that would connect Baltimore with the National Road in Cumberland. Damaged by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, the bridge was placed in the National Register of Historic Places ten years later. It was finally slated for demolition because of the high cost of restoration. Route 40 had been moved onto a new, two-lane bridge just south of Wilson Bridge some years before. WCHT lobbied the Board of County Commissioners for many months and finally got a commitment from master mason, LeRoy Myers, to restore the structure for $100,000.

Historic Preservation Commissions By Jurisdiction

History of the Road

Road Talk

“Let us go singing as far as we go: the road will be less tedious.”

– Virgil