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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Hooff's Run Bridge

Alexandria Heritage Trail

 
 
Hooff's Run Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
1. Hooff's Run Bridge Marker
Inscription. The bridge is one of the last remnants of Alexandria's first railroad, the Orange & Alexandria. The “O&ARR,” as it was commonly called, opened in 1851 and had 148 miles of track in 1860. The bridge was constructed by the railroad as it went from Alexandria's Potomac River wharves to the roundhouse at Duke and Wolfe streets, and then west to Manassas Junction, Orange, Gordonsville, and finally to Lynchburg, Virginia. The O&ARR made Alexandria a regional commercial center in the mid-nineteenth century. During the Civil War (1861-1865), the railroad was seized by the U.S. Military Railroads and used to transport troops and supplies west and south. Thousands of wounded Union soldiers were also brought from the battlefields to the more than 30 U.S. military hospitals operating in Alexandria.

The Hooff family has had a continuing presence in Alexandria since the eighteenth century. Family members have been involved in farming, butchering, banking, and real estate.

The bridge consists of two round arch sections: the northern, older portion, and the southern addition. The northern part dates from 1856 and replaced a wooden trestle (1851-1895) used when the Orange & Alexandria Railroad began operation. The 28-foot wide structure was constructed with a brick barrel vault, still observable under the bridge today,
Lawrence Hooff, II image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
2. Lawrence Hooff, II
The first Lawrence Hooff moved here to sell Conestoga wagons to General Braddock for the French and Indian War; son Lawrence (above) was pallbearer at George Washington's funeral.
Close-up of silhouette on marker
Alexandria Library, Special Collections
and faced with gray dry-laid sandstone. The Washington-Southern Railroad built a 16-foot wide addition, circa 1885-1895, to accommodate another track. By the early twentieth century, two more bridges stood to the north with additional tracks; they both were dismantled around 1948.

The Hooff's Run Bridge is the only existing stone structure associated with the Orange & Alexandria Railroad in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the oldest surviving bridge in Alexandria, and te Wilkes Street Tunnel, one of two preserved structures associated with the town's first railroad.
 
Erected by The Marriott Corporation & The Alexandria Archaeology Museum.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Orange and Alexandria Railroad marker series.
 
Location. 38° 48.18′ N, 77° 3.493′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker is at the intersection of Jamieson Avenue and Daingerfield Road, on the right when traveling west on Jamieson Avenue. Click for map. The continuation of Daingerfield Road here is a foot path between The Marriott Residence Inn and Laporta's Restaurant. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The West End (a few steps from this marker); The Duke Street Tanyard
Duke Street, 1923 image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
3. Duke Street, 1923
Cars travelling on Duke Street once had to cross over Hooff's Run on a stone bridge. In this 1923 view, the Hooff's Run Bridge is farther downstream to the right; Old Town is in the background.
Close-up of photo on marker
Alexandria Library, Special Collections
(about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A National Cemetery System (about 500 feet away); "Pursuers of Booth the Assassin" (about 500 feet away); Alexandria National Cemetery (about 500 feet away); Shiloh Baptist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1323 Duke Street – From Slavery to Freedom and Service (approx. 0.2 miles away); Franklin and Armfield Slave Office (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Alexandria.
 
Also see . . .
1. Hooffs Run was conduit for commerce, disease. By Pamela Cressey, September 7, 1995, Historic Alexandria. (Submitted on March 11, 2014, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.) 

2. Alexandria Heritage Trail. Alexandria Archaeology Museum (Submitted on March 17, 2014.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil
 
Brick Barrel Vaults image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
4. Brick Barrel Vaults
The brick barrel vaults of both the original stone bridge and the southern addition are laid in all-stretcher bond; the semicircular arch spans 21 feet 1 1/2 inches and rises 10 feet 6 inches.
Close-up of photo on marker
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
North Face image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
5. North Face
The north face of the original stone bridge is in smooth and rock-faced gray sandstone laid in random-range ashlar; the stone may have come from the Little Falls of the Potomac.
Close-up of photo on marker
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
The Southern Addition image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
6. The Southern Addition
The southern addition to Hooff's Run Bridge constructed of red Seneca Sandstone has an arch composed of 33 rock-face ashlar voussoirs and a larger keystone. The east wing wall descends on top of the Alexandria National Cemetery wall, which is made of similar stone.
Close-up of photo on marker
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
You Are Here, 1877 Map image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
7. You Are Here, 1877 Map
Detail of map showing the railroad tracks crossing Hooff's Run, 1877. Red circle mark the bridge location at west.
Close-up of map on marker
1877 Hopkins City Atlas of Alexandria,Virginia
Civil War View image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
8. Civil War View
Civil War view from the roundhouse looking west over the fortified U.S. Military Railroads compound, circa 1863. Red arrow marks the location of the Hooff's Run Bridge.
Close-up of photo on marker
National Archives
Lincoln Railroad Car image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
9. Lincoln Railroad Car
The railroad car used to take President Abraham Lincoln's body to Illinois for burial, as seen with W.H. Whiton engine, January 1865, was made at the U.S. Military Railroads yard east of the bridge.
National Archives
You Are Here image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
10. You Are Here
Alexandria Heritage Trail, City of Alexandria, Virginia
Close-up of map on marker
Hooff's Run Bridge -- South Face image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 15, 2014
11. Hooff's Run Bridge -- South Face
Hooff's Run Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
12. Hooff's Run Bridge
Combined Sewer Warning image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
13. Combined Sewer Warning
Combined sanitary and storm sewers are subject to overloading during flood events. They need to overflow rather than back up into people's bathrooms. Hooff's Run is one of the those overflow points.
Mallard Duck image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, March 8, 2014
14. Mallard Duck
in Hooff's Run
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,008 times since then and 13 times this year. Last updated on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. submitted on , by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on November 3, 2016.
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