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Book About National Road Features Chapter on Knightstown
January 9, 2008 - Knightstown in prominently featured in a new book about the National Road entitled Echoes of Yesterday Still Ring Today – National Road at 200. Written by prolific author Wendell Trogdon, the book was recently published by Backroads Press in Mooresville.
At 115 pages, the book offers a overview of the National Road’s history, starting with George Washington’s 1754 mandate that such a road be built. A section called “Dating the Road” offers a timeline of the road’s construction, from Washington’s 1754 mandate, to 1960s, when I-70 was built parallel to U.S. 40.
The following chapter, “A Road is Born,” details the road’s actual construction and what workers went through to build it. Trogdon’s writing is full of witty language and funny remarks, including this one regarding congressional action to fund the road’s construction. “Work began west of Cumberland (Maryland) in 1811. It would not be completed to Wheeling (West Virginia) and the Ohio River in 1818.
“Congress acted no faster then than now. It did not appropriate money to continue the route, or even the road design, until 1820, which delayed until 1825 the resumption of construction.”
With the road’s history ensconced in the first 14 pages, the balance of the book describes the road in the context of the towns it traverses. The remaining chapters are divided into the seven Indiana counties that host the road. Henry County towns discussed include Knightstown, Dunreith, Lewisville, Straughn, Ogden and Raysville.
In his four-page description of Knightstown, which, unlike many of the book’s other chapters includes a photo of the Hoosier Gym, the author heaps praise on this community. “Knightstown,” writes Trogdon, “like Centerville and Cambridge City, are among those that stand out among the best.”
Trogdon discusses several Knightstown businesses, including The Banner, which he describes as being unafraid “to raise questions about issues or question the powerful.”
The author describes Post & Post Hardware as being a “store out of the past” and encourages readers to visit the Hoosier Gym – “a gem for thousands of Hoosiers’ players and fans who dreamed but never realized the unexcelled excitement that comes with an Indiana state basketball championship.”
Trogdon, a Mooresville resident, has authored numerous other books, including U.S. 50 – the Forgotten Highway, Incredible Indiana and Winding are the Roads.
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