Westward Ho! LbNA # 32209
|Placed Date||Jun 24 2007|
|Found By||Taylor Travelers|
|Last Update||Oct 7 2012|
The National Road, today called U.S. Route 40 and originally referred to as the “old pike”, was the only significant land link between east coast and western frontier in the early 19th century. Construction began in Cumberland, Maryland in 1811, reached the Ohio River at Wheeling in 1818, and eventually reached Vandalia, Illinois in the 1830's.
The National Road opened the Ohio River Valley and the Midwest for settlement and commerce. Thousands of travelers headed west over the Allegheny Mountains to settle the Ohio River Valley. During the heyday of the National Road, traffic was extremely heavy. The two most common vehicles were the stagecoach (which could average 60-70 miles per day) and the Conestoga wagon. Designed to carry heavy freight both east and west over the Allegheny Mountains, the Conestoga wagon was the "tractor-trailer" of the 19th Century. These wagons were brightly painted with red running gears, Prussian blue bodies and white canvas coverings. A Conestoga wagon, pulled by a team of six draft horses, averaged 15 miles a day.
The National Road / Zane Grey Museum celebrates three facets of southeastern Ohio’s rich heritage—the National Road with its impact on western migration; the writer Zane Grey ("Father of the Adult Western") who was from the Zanesville area; and Ohio art pottery. The museum is owned and managed by the Ohio Historical Society and this letterbox has been planted with OHS permission. The box is outside of the museum and does not require a fee, but if you have an opportunity to visit the museum please consider doing so. Museum admission is free to OHS members and $7.00 to non-members. It is open Wednesdays through Sundays from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. The letterbox is available year-round.
To find the box:
The Westward Ho! Letterbox is located on the property of the National Road/Zane Grey Museum, 8850 East Pike, Norwich, OH 43767. This is on U.S. Route 40, 10 miles east of Zanesville, in Muskingham County. It is at the Norwich exit of I-70, exit 164.
Park in the museum’s parking lot. At the north end of the parking lot you will see an upright, well-worn milestone marker. There are two rows of evergreen trees behind this marker. The rear row consists of arborvitae trees. Between the 1st and 2nd of these trees (1st and 2nd from the right, that is) you will find a small wooden log. The Westward Ho! Letterbox is located inside this log. [NOTE 2011-05-30: a finder reports that the wooden log is gone, but box with stamp and book are intact, under debris.]
Please return the contents to their plastic bags and fit the box neatly back into its wooden log when you are done. It’s tricky but the letterbox does fit there. [Please hide well even if this wooden log is gone!]