In 1838, the National Road, the first federally-funded highway that linked the East with the rapidly growing West, was built through Springfield, Ohio. Because of a lack of funds, work temporarily stopped about a mile west of the city. The Pennsylvania House was built at that point in 1839, becoming locally known as “the inn at the end of the pike.” The National Road was so important at the time that it became the main street of many cities and towns on its route, and inns on the road were crowded with guests. The Pennsylvania House is said to have housed famous people including Henry Clay and Charles Dickens. As one of the few remaining inns from the period, the Pennsylvania House was awarded a $197,058 National Park Service Save America’s Treasures grant in 2006 to help rehabilitate the property. Today, it is home to a museum about the National Road.
Photo: Pennsylvania House before rehabilitation