Effingham County Board President Jim Niemann is set to dedicate a kiosk to the National Road Association Friday evening in conjunction with the Artisan Fair. The dedication ceremony will begin at 5:30 PM on the southeast corner of the old Effingham County Courthouse.
The new kiosk will feature information about the old National Road that ran from Cumberland, MD to Vandalia in the 1800s. It passed through the entirety of Effingham County and was referred to as “The Road that Built The Nation” because it was the first federally funded highway project. The construction of the National Road was authorized by Thomas Jefferson in 1806 and continued until 1837 when building was halted near Vandalia, which was the state capital at the time. Today, U.S. Route 40 follows the closest alignment to the National Road.
The kiosk is funded by a state grant and is designed by Joe Richardson. The National Road Association of Illinois is an organization that helps to preserve and inform the public on the history of the National Road.