The founders of the B&O were businessmen who were looking for the the most efficient route to the west. They were concerned with profits for their fledgling business venture and were not overly concerned with the impact that constructing tracks and building stations might have on the land or the people in their selected path. But just as today there are disputes over where to build highways and airports, the people who lived in the towns or hamlets to the west of Baltimore had differing views about the coming of the railroad. Identify four people who might have been living in or near what is today Ellicott City when the word spread that a railroad was about to be built. Describe each in terms of how they made their living. Would they be likely to favor the railroad? Explain why you think each would be for or against this new form of transportation. Try to come up with at least four reasons on each side of the issue.
Schedule a visit to the B&O Railroad Museum and use the Roads to Rails Worksheet for each site as an activity for students while at the museums.