On January 24, 1814, the Maryland legislature joined Pennsylvania in chartering a new turnpike company to connect Lancaster County to Baltimore. The state offered a detailed and descriptive title: “An act to enable the governor of this commonwealth to incorporate a company for making an artificial road by the best and nearest route from the Philadelphia and Lancaster turnpike road through the village of Strasburg in Lancaster county to the Susquehanna bridge at McCall’s ferry and from thence to Baltimore.”
In the 1810s, states established countless turnpike companies but road-building remained a potentially challenging and speculative venture. Some projects like the Baltimore and Havre-de-Grace Turnpike (chartered in 1813 but unfinished until 1825) took years to complete. Others, including this road from Baltimore to Strasburg, were never built at all.
On January 6, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry received a Congressional Gold Medal for his service at the Battle of Lake Erie. Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter to get more updates on Perry’s celebratory visit to Baltimore at the end of the January 1814.