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Re: Potomac River bridge ruins near Sharpsburg & Shepherdstown

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  • eighth_conn_inf
    Comparing the Michler map from LOC with Google Earth, today s Canal Rd. is the old alingment of the Boonsboro-Shepherdstown Pke (Rt. 34). That means the piers
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 5, 2012
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      Comparing the Michler map from LOC with Google Earth, today's Canal Rd. is the old alingment of the Boonsboro-Shepherdstown Pke (Rt. 34). That means the piers were from an earlier road bridge likely the bridge burned by Jackson in 1861. The piers closer to today's RR bridge are probably an earlier RR bridge but I haven't found corroboration. The RR wasn't built there in 1867 or earlier.

      --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "cowie_steve" <cowie_steve@...> wrote:
      >
      > Hi, Folks.
      >
      > Can someone kindly identify which bridges were supported by the two sets of stone ruins on the Potomac between the Route 34 bridge and the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge? From what I've read:
      >
      > The first covered bridge was burned by Confederates in 1861.
      >
      > The second covered bridge, built by John Wood in 1871, was destroyed in the 1889 flood.
      >
      > An iron bridge replaced John Wood's bridge, but was destroyed by the 1936 flood.
      >
      > A bridge dedicated to James Rumsey was built in 1939; when the current bridge opened in 2005, the 1939 bridge was destroyed with explosives.
      >
      > One set of ruins is just east of Route 34, while the other is farther east, located just before the railroad bridge.
      >
      > Thanks,
      >
      > Steve
      >
    • cowie_steve
      Hi, Larry. Thanks for your input. I did some further searching and your theory about the railroad bridge is correct: the current RR bridge spanning the Potomac
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 10, 2012
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        Hi, Larry.

        Thanks for your input. I did some further searching and your theory about the railroad bridge is correct: the current RR bridge spanning the Potomac is the Norfolk Southern, built in 1904. The piers next to it supported an earlier railroad bridge that was built in 1880.

        Thanks,

        Steve

        --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "eighth_conn_inf" <eighth_conn_inf@...> wrote:
        >
        > Comparing the Michler map from LOC with Google Earth, today's Canal Rd. is the old alingment of the Boonsboro-Shepherdstown Pke (Rt. 34). That means the piers were from an earlier road bridge likely the bridge burned by Jackson in 1861. The piers closer to today's RR bridge are probably an earlier RR bridge but I haven't found corroboration. The RR wasn't built there in 1867 or earlier.
        >
        > --- In TalkAntietam@yahoogroups.com, "cowie_steve" <cowie_steve@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Hi, Folks.
        > >
        > > Can someone kindly identify which bridges were supported by the two sets of stone ruins on the Potomac between the Route 34 bridge and the Norfolk Southern Railroad bridge? From what I've read:
        > >
        > > The first covered bridge was burned by Confederates in 1861.
        > >
        > > The second covered bridge, built by John Wood in 1871, was destroyed in the 1889 flood.
        > >
        > > An iron bridge replaced John Wood's bridge, but was destroyed by the 1936 flood.
        > >
        > > A bridge dedicated to James Rumsey was built in 1939; when the current bridge opened in 2005, the 1939 bridge was destroyed with explosives.
        > >
        > > One set of ruins is just east of Route 34, while the other is farther east, located just before the railroad bridge.
        > >
        > > Thanks,
        > >
        > > Steve
        > >
        >
      • stephen.recker
        Steve, I have been trying to learn about the same bridge.
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 26, 2014
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          Steve,
          I have been trying to learn about the same bridge.


          In her book about Shepherdstown, Dolly Nasby has an old postcard with a bridge on the 1880 Shenandoah Valley Line piers. I have been researching this bridge because I have found two 1880s stereoviews of this bridge in an earlier wooden incarnation. I have never seen another image of this bridge in that form and want to find out what's what.

          Apparently, there is a book called the Shenandoah Valley Line which should clear things up.
        • cowie_steve
          Hi, Stephen. Thanks for the update, and the stereoviews of the wooden bridge sound like a great find! If my research is correct, the old pillars closest to the
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 28, 2014
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            Hi, Stephen.

            Thanks for the update, and the stereoviews of the wooden bridge sound like a great find! If my research is correct, the old pillars closest to the modern day Route 34 bridge supported two wooden bridges -- one burned by the Confederates in 1861 and one built by John Wood in 1871 that was destroyed in the 1889 flood. Do the pillars in your stereoview resemble those seen Gardner's photo taken from Ferry Hill, which are somewhat shorter and wider in nature than the taller ruins closer to Shepherdstown Ford? If so, your image might be that of the John Wood bridge (1871-1889); if not, perhaps your image is that of the first Shepherdstown-Sharpsburg railroad bridge built in 1880. Curious to get your thoughts on this.

            For quick reference, here's a view of both sets of pillar ruins. Those that supported the railroad are in the foreground:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Potomac_at_Shepherdstown_WV1.jpg

            Thanks,

            Steve
          • stephen.recker
            Steve, This is a great picture. It is taken from the modern-day train bridge (which can t be seen in the photo) looking west toward the modern bridge that
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 28, 2014
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              Steve,

              This is a great picture. It is taken from the modern-day train bridge (which can't be seen in the photo) looking west toward the modern bridge that carries cars along rt.34. The small chunky pillars in the distance next to the car bridge were for the old foot/wagon bridge that was washed away in the flood. The taller, closer pillars are the ones in my photo, that were originally built in 1880 for the Shenandoah Valley Line. Might try to get to the Shepherdstown Museum to see what they have.
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