Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Wilderness Road,principal avenue of westward migration for U.S. pioneers from c.1790 to 1840, blazed in 1775 by the American frontiersman Daniel BooneBoone, Daniel,
1734–1820, American frontiersman, b. Oley (now Exeter) township, near Reading, Pa.
The Boones, English Quakers, left Pennsylvania in 1750 and settled (1751 or 1752) in the Yadkin valley of North Carolina.
..... Click the link for more information. and an advance party of the Transylvania CompanyTransylvania Company,
association formed to exploit and colonize the area now comprising much of Kentucky and Tennessee. Organized first (Aug., 1774) as the Louisa Company, it was reorganized (Jan., 1775) as the Transylvania Company.
..... Click the link for more information. . Feeders from the east (Richmond, Va.) and the north (Harpers Ferry, W.Va.) converged at Fort Chiswell in the Shenandoah valley. Boone's road ran southwest from there through the valley, then W across the Appalachian Mts. and through Cumberland GapCumberland Gap,
natural passage through the Cumberland Mts., near the point where Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee meet. The gap was formed by the erosive action of a stream that once flowed there. It was explored and named in 1750 by Dr.
..... Click the link for more information. into the Kentucky bluegrass region and to the Ohio River. The road followed old buffalo traces and Native American paths, but much of it had to be cut through the wilderness. In the early years, many travelers fell victim to hostile Native Americans.
After Kentucky became a state in 1792, the road was widened to accommodate wagons. Private contractors, authorized to keep up sections of the road, charged tolls for its use. With the building of the National Road, the Wilderness Road was neglected and finally abandoned in the 1840s. Since 1926 the Wilderness Road has been a section of U.S. Route 25, the Dixie Highway.