Near Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
An engineering marvel for early America
Leonard Harbaugh built the bridge in 1808 for a cost of $55,000. Mr. Harbaugh's signature was a distinctive stone "demijohn" placed on the bridge's east end, giving the span its name the "Jug Bridge." A demijohn was a popular bulbous, thin-necked bottle that often held whiskey. Rumors persist that a real jug of whiskey was planted inside the stone version. The Jug Bridge served faithfully well into the automobile era, but a collapse in 1942 led to a new bridge.
(Sidebar): Marquis de Lafayette
America's hero, Frenchman Marquis de Lafayette, crossed the Jug Bridge in December, 1824, entering Frederick on his triumphal U.S. tour fifty years after the Revolutionary War.
Erected by America's Byways.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 24.305′ N, 77° 23.019′ W. Marker is Click for map. Just west of the overpass of I-70 / U.S. 40. In a pull off area between the interstate, Bowman Road, and Patrick Street. Marker is in this post office area: Frederick MD 21705, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Jug Bridge Monument (here, next to this marker); General LaFayette (within shouting distance of this marker); The Lower Depot Neighborhood / The Frederick Brick Works (approx. 1.2 miles away); Gen. Bradley T. Johnson (approx. 1.3 miles away); “The Great Baby Waker” (approx. 1.4 miles away); Hessian Barracks - Witness to History (approx. 1.4 miles away); The National Road (approx. 1.4 miles away); These Barracks (approx. 1.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Frederick.
More about this marker. On the left side is a picture of a post card captioned, “The Jug Bridge as seen in this early 20th century postcard view. The bridge collapsed in 1942, but the tollhouse on the opposite side of the river, still survives and is now a private residence.”
In the center is a picture of the Jug Bridge monument captioned, “Some horseless carriage adventurers (note the googgles and the duster in the foreground) pose with the stone demijohn at the entrance to the Jug Bridge. The unique monument was moved to its present location in 1965.”
The sidebar contains a portrait of Lafayette.
The background of the marker is “National Road at Fairview Inn” which is used on many of the markers in this series.
Also see . . .
1. The Old Jug Bridge. Several photos of the Jug Bridge when it was standing.
2. Biography of LaFayette.
3. More Photos of the Jug Bridge. From the Library of Congress Historic American Building Survey collection.
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Roads & Vehicles •
Credits. This page originally submitted on September 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,408 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 4. submitted on September 11, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 5. submitted on December 9, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. 6. submitted on November 12, 2015. 7, 8. submitted on January 17, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 9, 10. submitted on February 20, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. 11. submitted on January 17, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.