The National Road

Last week I entered David Shriver into the American & European Family Forest, and I’ve thought of him several times since. As the Superintendent of U.S. Public Works he is said to have built the National Road to Columbus, OH, and laid out the National Road to St. Louis, MO.

I had never stopped to think about how important a part the National Road has played in my life, but thanks to having found this information about David Shriver, I know it was more than just the main road. I now realize that for more than twenty years it was the starting point of most of my adventures.

Within a couple days of my birth I began traveling on the National Road. At that time my parents were renting an apartment in a Baltimore row house a half block off the National Road.

From the age of 3 until 12 we lived in another Baltimore row house eight blocks off the National Road. Then we moved to a subdivision in the country that was only a mile off the National Road.

So I have walked along the National Road countless times, including times when the snow drifts were so high that the road was closed. I have bicycled on it, ridden public buses on it, and ridden school buses on it. I have driven numerous cars, trucks, and motorcycles on it over its entire length. I have shopped in many of the stores and eaten in many of the restaurants that have sprouted up along it.

David Shriver was not one of my ancestors. He was not even one of my 3rd great-granduncles, as he was to Maria Shriver who married Arnold Schwarzenegger. But I have certainly benefited from and enjoyed the fruits of what David Shriver accomplished during his life.