“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Harrisburg in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge

Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
1. Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge Marker
Inscription. The coming of the railroad to Harrisburg in 1836 led to the construction of the first bridges to span the Susquehanna, since the building of the Camelback Bridge in 1817, which planted the seed for what would become the city's trademark of distinctive river crossings. The Cumberland Valley Railroad was one of several infant railroads, prior to being consolidated with the Pennsylvania Railroad in the mid 19th Century, to emanate from Harrisburg, helping to make the city become one of the nation's principal rail centers. The Railroad's first rail crossing, a wooden covered bridge, was erected here in 1839. The original structure was destroyed by fire in 1844, rebuilt in 1846 and renovated and upgraded in 1856, 1872 and 1885. In 1887, the old wooden covered span was replaced by an open iron truss bridge, which by then served dozens of trains daily. The present concrete structure was completed c. 1916. Although abandoned for rail use over the past several decades, the bridge is poised to be the principal crossing for the Corridor One rail commuter system to serve the renewed rail needs of the metropolitan area and of Harrisburg's west shore. Immediately to the south of the Cumberland Valley Bridge, a similar iron truss structure was erected in 1891 by the Reading Railroad Company, originally known as the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad
Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge image. Click for full size.
By William Pfingsten, March 21, 2008
2. Cumberland Valley Railroad Bridge
Company. The existing graceful-arched concrete mate to the Cumberland Valley Bridge replaced the iron truss bridge in 1922. These bridges and their predecessors established the routes of the mighty railroads through Harrisburg, ensuring that the Capital City was a principal junction for the flow of the nation's commerce and trade.
Top Photo
Circa 1900 postcard view of iron truss bridge later replaced by the existing concrete structure.
Bottom Photo
Pre-1887 view of the old covered bridge later replaced by the iron truss structure.

Erected by The Harrisburg History Project Commissioned by Mayor Stephen R. Reed.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Pennsylvania Railroad, and the Pennsylvania, The Harrisburg History Project marker series.
Location. 40° 15.42′ N, 76° 52.835′ W. Marker is in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in Dauphin County. Marker is on S. Front Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Between Chestnut and Mary Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Harrisburg PA 17101, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Harrisburg Hospital (within shouting distance of this marker); John Harris Mansion (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Harris/Simon Cameron Mansion (about 500 feet away); John Harris Sr. Grave Site (about 500 feet away); The Crowne Plaza (about 600 feet away); The Peanut House (about 800 feet away); Executive Mansion (about 800 feet away); Dauphin County (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Harrisburg.
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Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 3,275 times since then and 103 times this year. Last updated on , by John K. Robinson of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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