Little River Turnpike

George Washington managed to get American forces west from Alexandria to Winchester in the 1750's during the French and Indian War. General Braddock chose to take his troops across the Potomac River and march through Maryland, since the roads to Frederick and Cumberland were better there.

Braddock built "Braddock's Road" west of Cumberland. His troops did not construct a "Braddock's Road" through the Virginia countryside to the Blue Ridge. Farmers struggled to carry crops by wagon on dirt paths to Alexandria, where the prices were highest because of the increased demand at the port city.

After the American Revolution, merchants and lamdowners in Northern Virginia recognized the economic benefits from inproving the transportation network connecting Alexandria to the backcountry. However, the first attempt to raise private capital to build a new road west of Alexandria ended in failure. The Fairfax and Loudoun Turnpike Road Company was authorized to raise money in 1795, but the corporation was eorganized in 1801 as the Little River Turnpike Company in 1801

The Transportation Network of Alexandria

Turnpikes of Virginia



1. "Before the Hot Lanes: Little River Turnpike," Annadale Chamber of Commerce, April 2012, (last checked November 7, 2021)

Transportation: From Feet to Teleports
Virginia Places