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Near Frederick in Frederick County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Jug Bridge
An engineering marvel for early America
 
Jug Bridge Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 3, 2007
1. Jug Bridge Marker
 
Inscription. In 1800, travelers expected to ford rivers or use ferries that were slow and often risky in bad weather. The Baltimore and Frederick-Town Turnpike Company, building the first leg of the National Road in 1805, set out to revolutionize American roads. One of the results was an amazing five-arch stone bridge across the Monocacy River.

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
 
Jug Bridge Marker and Monuments Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 3, 2007
2. Jug Bridge Marker and Monuments
 
near Frederick, Maryland, in Frederick County. Marker is at the intersection of Bowmanís Farm Road and Patrick Street (Maryland Route 144), on the right when traveling east on Bowmanís Farm Road. 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, 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); “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); Frederick (approx. 1.5 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.
 
Jug Bridge Monument Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 3, 2007
3. Jug Bridge Monument
 

 
Also see . . .
1. The Old Jug Bridge. Several photos of the Jug Bridge when it was standing. (Submitted on September 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 

2. Biography of LaFayette. (Submitted on September 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.)
3. More Photos of the Jug Bridge. From the Library of Congress Historic American Building Survey collection. (Submitted on December 9, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.) 
 
The Old Bridge(s) Photo, Click for full size
By Craig Swain, September 9, 2007
4. The Old Bridge(s)
Three generations of bridges are in evidence at the Jug Bridge site. This photograph was taken from the current Old National Pike bridge (Route 144). The old highway bridge dating to the 1940s still stands to the north, but is not used for traffic. Some stone piling ruins lay further to the north of that bridge, dating to the original Jug Bridge. The original spanned the river to connect what are present day East Patrick Street and Dr. Baxter Road. The site is on private property.
 
 
The Jug Bridge in 1933 Photo, Click for full size
Library of Congress
5. The Jug Bridge in 1933
In this 1933 photo, clearly visible on the east end of the bridge is the Jug Monument. On the far bank is the toll house and even further in the distance is the Reich farm house and barn.

Credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Historic American Buildings Survey, HABS MD,11-FRED.V,5-1
 
 
Western abutment, Jug Bridge Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck
6. Western abutment, Jug Bridge
 
 
Former jug location Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck
7. Former jug location
The jug sat where there is now a round pad of moss.
 
 
Eastern abutment, Jug Bridge Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck
8. Eastern abutment, Jug Bridge
This photo is taken from almost exactly the same spot as the one showing the former location of the jug, but looking in the opposite direction. The two replacement bridges can be seen in the background.
 
 
Western abutment, Jug Bridge Photo, Click for full size
By Christopher Busta-Peck, October 5, 2007
9. Western abutment, Jug Bridge
The western abutment is all that remains of the massive Jug Bridge across the Monocacy River.
 
 
Jug Bridge Toll House Photo, Click for full size
Historic American Buildings Survey, circa 1933
10. Jug Bridge Toll House
The Jug Bridge Toll House, as photographed by the Historic American Buildings Survey in the 1930s. The house still stands on private property.
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on September 5, 2007, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 4,049 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 January 17, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   7, 8. submitted on February 20, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio.   9, 10. submitted on January 17, 2008, by Christopher Busta-Peck of Shaker Heights, Ohio. • J. J. Prats was the editor who published this page.
 
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