The Bridges of Washington County

Sort of keeping with the Antietam theme, or at least staying within Washington County, Maryland…The county has erected several rather plain brown, single pole markers with tan text to designate historical sites not referenced by (or in some cases in addition to) state historical markers. An example is this marker for the Gettysburg Campaign in Smithsburg, referencing action during the retreat through Maryland:


I personally discovered these rather inobtrusive markers last summer while visiting some of the sites related to the Antietam Campaign. While the Civil War interpretation is nice, the county also placed markers at most of the thirty-one odd stone bridge, culverts, and aqueducts standing in the County that date to the 19th century. Recently other correspondents at HMDB have added more of these markers referencing bridge sites. Additionally, Christopher Busta-Peck has posted an excellent writeup on the Antietam Bridges on his National Road blog.

The bridge, culvert and aqueduct sites are (with references to the Marker Database where applicable):

Leitersburg Bridge No.2 over Antietam Creek

Old Forge Bridge over Antietam Creek – Lee considered destroying this bridge during the retreat from Gettysburg, according to the county’s web site.

Hager’s Mill Bridge over Antietam Creek

Funkstown Turnpike Bridge over Antietam Creek – Old National Road bridge, much renovated and expanded. Used during the Gettysburg Campaign.

Funkstown Bridge No. 2 over Antietam Creek – used during the Confederate retreat from Gettysburg.

Roxbury Mills Bridge over Antietam Creek – Another crossing point factoring into the Gettysburg Campaign.

Rose’s Mill Bridge over Antietam Creek

Claggett’s Mill Bridge over Antietam Creek

Claggett’s Mill-Race Bridge over Antietam Creek

Booth’s Bill Bridge over Antietam Creek – Here on July 12, 1863, General Meade gathered his generals to weigh options in the pursuit of Lee’s Confederates in the retreat from Gettysburg.

Hitt Bridge over Antietam Creek – Braddock passed a ford here in 1755. Civil War historians note this as the “Upper” or “Hooker” Bridge upstream from Pry’s Ford.

Pry’s Mill Bridge over Little Antietam Creek – Between the Hitt and Hess Bridges. Also a crossing point during the Antietam Campaign.

Hess’ Mill Bridge over Little Antietam Creek – In the town of Keedysville. Also associated with movements during the Antietam Campaign.

“Felfoot” Bridge over Little Antietam Creek – The east approach to Keedysville.

Middle Bridge over Antietam Creek – No longer standing, but an Antietam battlefield landmark.

Burnside Bridge over Antietam Creek – The one everyone knows.

Antietam Iron Works Bridge over Antietam Creek – Near the mouth of the creek.

Antietam Aqueduct over Antietam Creek – Along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal.

Monroe Chapel Culvert over tributary of Antietam Creek

Wilson’s Bridge over Conococheague Creek – among the oldest along the Old National Road.

Price’s Bridge over Conococheaque Creek

Broadfording Bridge over Conococheaque Creek

Conococheaque Bridge over Conococheaque Creek

Conococheaque Aqueduct over Conococheaque Creek – Along the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Witness to Confederate crossings of the Potomac during the Antietam and Gettysburg Campaigns, and several other smaller operations.

Devil’s Backbone Bridge over Little Beaver Creek – Braddock passed through on a ford here en-route to his demise.

Kline’s Mill Bridge over Little Beaver Creek

“Cool Hollow” Culvert over branch of Little Beaver Creek

Marsh Run Bridge over Marsh Run

Marsh Run Culvert over Marsh Run

As a set, I’d argue you can not get a better sampling of American History. There are events dating to the colonial times, Revolutionary War, Civil War, westward expansion, the National Road, and well everything but space travel!


One thought on “The Bridges of Washington County

  1. Here are photos for a few of the bridges which, alas, do not have historical markers:
    Devil’s Backbone (Little Beaver Creek)
    Kline’s Mill Bridge
    Cool Hollow culvert
    Manor Church Culvert
    Clevelandtown Road Culvert

    There are a few others out there that are completely encased in concrete – I know of two on the National Road, but surely there must be others.

    And, I must add, though it’s not stone, but rather, concerete, this 1906 concrete arch bridge is worthy of a marker, too.

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