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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Mr. John A. Shore holding a piece of the plank road in front of the North Carolina Highway Historical Marker in Bethania, 1959. Mr. Shore owned the general store in the background.Appian Way

The Appian Way of North Carolina was a plank road built by the Fayetteville and Western Plank Road Company that extended 129 miles from Fayetteville to Bethania. Completed to Salem in 1853, it reached Bethania on 28 Oct. 1854 and at the time was the longest plank road in the world. The road's descriptive name suggests its importance-the ancient road of the same name built in Italy in A.D. 312 extended 132 miles from Rome to modern Santa Maria Capua Vetere. Eventually continued into southern Italy, the Appian Way was considered to be the "queen of long-distance roads."


Kenneth G. Hamilton, ed., Records of the Moravians in North Carolina, vol. 11 (1969).

Robert B. Starling, "The Plank Road Movement in North Carolina," NCHR 16 (January-April 1939).

Additional Resources:

McKown, Harry. "April 1854 -- The Fayetteville and Western Plank Road." This Month in North Carolina History (blog). April 2008. (accessed June 15, 2012).

"Plank Roads Chartered In North Carolina" North Carolina Business Hall of Fame. 2006. (accessed June 15, 2012).

"Plank Road." North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program. (accessed June 15, 2012).

"Rail plan splinters into planks" Cumberland County 250 / The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer. 2004. (accessed June 15, 2012).

Image Credits:

Jones, Frank. "John A. Shore holding a piece of the plank road in Bethania, 1959." Photograph. Courtesy of the Forsyth County Public Library Photograph Collection.