Not a road that rolls
, but a road for rolling
In the areas of Colonial America
, roads were generally terrible. The only feasible way to get around, and to transport agricultural products, was by raft
Now, this still left the tobacco farmer the problem of getting tobacco to an entry port. After the tobacco was harvested2
, huge barrels called "hogshead
s", 8 feet in diameter and 10 feet high, would be built3
, and then packed3
full of tobacco.
That's a mighty big barrel to haul by wagon. So special roads were built3
from the tobacco plantation
s down to the entry ports, an extremely gentle grade, downhill all the way. At harvest time, the hogsheads would be rolled, either pulled by oxen or manually pushed3
all the way.
Rolling roads were the first decent roads in places like Maryland
. Some of them grew into the first turnpike
s, while others simply hung around. The courses of several old rolling roads are followed by heavily-traveled roads today. "Rolling Road" in Catonsville
was used to roll hogsheads down to the tobacco port near present-day Relay, Maryland
Pretty much everywhere, this being the only thing that factor
s in back in Mother England
would pay for.
Not by the planter, of course, but by his indentured servant
s, or even more economically, slaves
See note 2. Frequently.