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Where America Happened

By Linda Tancs

A National Scenic Byway designation is the highest honor that the U.S. Secretary of Transportation can bestow on a roadway, recognizing its outstanding significance culturally, historically, recreationally or otherwise.  That honorific was recently granted to America’s corridor, an 180-mile long thoroughfare running  from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania to Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia–known as the Journey Through Hallowed Ground.   The area represents what late historian C. Vann Woodward referred to as a route that “soaked up more of the blood, sweat, and tears of American history than any other part of the country.”  Indeed, along this region you’ll find the Civil War’s hallowed grounds in and around Gettysburg as well as the Dobbin House, a Civil War hospital and reputed safe house for enslaved African Americans traveling north in search of freedom.  You’ll see colonial taverns and a Revolutionary War-era prison, a historic gristmill and battlefield, superb architectural specimens of the 1800s and a sampling of presidential mansions including James Monroe and Thomas Jefferson.  Of course, there’s lots more.  But why should I spoil it for you?  See for yourself.

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