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The "National Road Caravan"




The Historic National Road

In 1806, an Act of Congress allocated finds for George Washington’s Dream of building an all-weather road across the Allegany Mountains and into the heart of the frontier. President Thomas Jefferson signed the bill into law and The National Road; the nation’s first federally funded interstate highway was born.

The road would eventually stretch for more than 800 miles and cross six states from its beginning at Baltimore, Maryland to its termination at the Mississippi in East St. Louis, Illinois.

Construction of the road began in 1811 at Cumberland, Maryland extending the already existing route from the seaport of Baltimore. It was know first as The Cumberland Road but has since been known by several names including The Great National Pike, The Old National Road and The National Trail.

It took more than 25 years to complete as it crept across Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eventually Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Unlike many privately built roads of this era, this one was free to travel.

By 1818, the road had reached Wheeling, then part of Virginia. West of Wheeling, the route continued on the path of Zane’s Trace, the first road in Ohio. An important aspect of The Historic National Road is the tact that many of the earlier Indian trails and colonial routes were interwoven into the road alignment, thus preserving their legacy.

By the late 1830’s, a lack of finds halted construction at the Ohio and indiana border. In 1939, it finally reached Vandalla, then the Iffinois state capital and the western end of the road. It was later completed to East St. Louis, opening a link to the water route of the Mississippi.

In the 1850’s, the increased popularity of railroads caused the road to go into decline. The National Road remained unimproved until the 1930’s, when it was paved and renamed “Route 40”.

From 1950 to the 1970’s, a new limited-access highway system was constructed to parallel this famous old highway. Interstate Highways 68 and 70 became the main mutes through this area. The age of high-speed travel had bypassed the history and charm of “Route 40”.

Today, however, those interested in its preservation are rejuvenating this historic corridor. In 2000, this road was named a National Scenic Byway by the U.S. Federal Government and in 2002 it was designated an All American Road by the Federal Highway Administration and now is know as The Historic National Road.

If you spend some time and travel this road today, you will be treated to countless quaint, cultural and Historic venues along this—” road that built the nation”.


Tin Can Tourists: A Brief History

The Tin Can Tourists were organized at Desoto Park, Tampa, Florida, in 1919. They received the official state charter a year later. The groups stated objective was “to unite fraternally all auto-campers”. Their guiding principles were clean camps, friendliness among campers, decent behavior and to secure plenty of clean, wholesome entertainment from those in camp. The group known for the soldered tin can on their radiator caps grew rapidly during the twenties and thirties. Members could be inducted fellow campers through an initiation process that taught the prospective member the secret handshake, sign, and password. After singing the official song “The More We Get Together” the "trailerite" was an official member of the Tin Can Tourists of the World.

Summer reunions were held at various Midwest locations, with Traverse City, Michigan serving as a primary host city. The club spent winters at Desoto Park until 1924. Because locals grew tired of their park being over run with northerners, the park was closed a month early in March. The canners took the hint and moved the Winter Convention to Arcadia, where the community had built a municipal park especially for the Tin Can Tourists. By 1932, with membership estimates ranging from 30,000 to 100,000, city Chambers of Commerce were actively pursuing TCT to choose their community for either Homecoming, Winter Convention or Going Home meets. The Winter Convention was the best attended and was an economic boon to the host community. Sarasota had its eye on the prize and lured the Convention away from Arcadia in 1932. The vote on the Winter Convention site was hotly contested. Many Canners were loyal to Arcadia, the town that wanted them after their ejection from Tampa. A 250 strong car caravan let by Sarasota’s mayor, and other public officials, helped swing the vote selecting Sarasota as the Winter Convention site for 1932. As a concession to those that favored Arcadia, it was designated as the official site for Homecoming festivities. In 1938, the mayor of Sarasota indicated that the national perception that Sarasota was a tin can tourist’s town was hurting the community and that he would not renew the Winter Convention contract. Tampa offered the canners a five-year deal to return to Tampa. It was accepted and the Winter Convention returned to a specially built Municipal Park. The group faced membership declines due to a combination of factors. (1) a schism within the ranks and the formation of ATA, the Automobile Tourists Association, (2) an economic recession in 1939 that greatly diminished the number of trailer manufacturers, and (3) the onset of World War II. Winter Convention photographs depict a much smaller group in 1948 at Tampa. The original groups “Swan Song” convention was held in Eustis, Florida in 1968. By the mid 70’s the club was no longer in existence in any form.

In 1998, Forrest and Jeri Bone renewed the club as an all make and model vintage trailer and motor coach club. The renewal gathering was held at Camp Dearborn, Milford, Michigan. Twenty-one rigs attended the May Renewal Gathering. By the end of the year, fifty members were accepted as charter members of the renewed version of the Tin Can Tourists. The group has grown steadily, currently holding Annual Gatherings in Michigan, Florida, and regional rallies at various locations in the U.S. Recently Regional Representatives have been added, to represent  England, Japan and France.




The following is a time and schedule framework that we will attempt to follow during the Caravan. If you see something that is not realistic, please let me know. Utilize the times to establish or modify specific events for your portion of the Caravan. Cumberland:

Caravan participants may arrive any day prior to June 3rd. Early arrivals are expected to pay for camping prior to June 3rd.  All participants shall be at the Allegany Fairgrounds for a 4:00 meeting on Saturday, June 3rd.



Saturday June 3

Participant Meeting 4:00 - at Fairgrounds 

Kim Shire to fill in planned events, times and description of camping facilities.


Sunday June 4

Departure 1:00 pm

Arrival at Grantsville by 2:00 pm travel distance 29 miles to Grantsville

Deb Clatterbuck to fill in planned events, and times.

Lunch on own at Pinewoods?


 Departure from Grantsville – 4:00 pm travel distance 8 miles to Addison

Arrival at Addison 4:30 pm

Donna Holdorf to fill in planned events, times and description of camping facilities.


Monday June 5

Tour tollhouse in Addison in morning

Depart Addison 10:00 am travel distance 25 miles to Uniontown

Arrival in Uniontown 11:30

Donna Holdorf to fill in planned events, times and description of camping facilities.


Tuesday June 6

Depart Uniontown 10:00 am travel distance 34 miles to Brownsville

Arrival in Brownsville 11:15 am

Norma Ryan to fill in planned events, and times.


Depart Brownsville 1:00 pm travel distance 31 miles to Wheeling

Arrive Wheeling 3:00 pm

Deb Keddie to fill in planned events, times and description of camping facilities.


Wednesday June 7

Depart Wheeling 7:30 am travel distance 61 miles to Zanesville

Arrive Zanesville 9:00 am

Allen King to fill in planned events, and times.

Depart Zanesville 10:00 am travel distance 61 miles

– Fuel stop at Love’s Truck Stop

Arrival Columbus 12 noon

___________ to fill in planned events, and times.

Depart Columbus 2:00 pm travel distance 61 miles to Springfield

Arrive Springfield 4:00 pm

Marian Vance to fill in planned events, times and description of camping facilities.


Thursday June 8

Depart Springfield 8:00 am travel distance 58 miles to Richmond

Arrive Richmond 9:30 am

Trish Eccles to fill in planned events, and times.

Depart Richmond 10:00 am travel distance 34 miles to Knightstown

Trish Eccles to fill in planned events, and times.

Depart Knightstown 12:30 pm travel distance to Terre Haute

Trish Eccles to fill in planned events, times and description of camping facilities.


Friday June 9

Depart Terre Haute to Clabber Girl Museum for tour 7:00 am

Depart Clabber Girl 9:30 am travel distance 43 miles to Greenup

Arrive Greenup at 11:00 am

Jerry Roll to fill in planned events, and times.

Depart Greenup at 1:00 pm travel 54 miles to Vandalia

Arrive Vandalia at 3:00 pm

Mary Truitt to fill in planned events, times and description of camping facilities.


Saturday June 10 at Vandalia

Mary Truitt to fill in planned events and times.


End of the Road banquet at Depot Restaurant ________ time. All Caravan participants and facilitators invited. (Need an RSVP from Facilitators)


Sunday June 11

Church options, breakfast options

Depart for personal destination

Those heading back to Michigan – stop at NATMUS in Auburn Indiana might be a possibility.


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