“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Hagerstown in Washington County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Wilson Bridge

Standing the Test of Time

Wilson Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
1. Wilson Bridge Marker
Inscription. “Keep these bridges in proper repair and they will last as long as any. They have stood many hard knocks for a long time.” —Elmer E. Piper, Washington County Surveyor, 1920s.

This graceful, five-arch structure, spanning historic Conococheague Creek, is the oldest stone bridge in Washington County. The Army Corps of Engineers only required stone piers with a wooden superstructure, but the local government insisted the bridge be constructed entirely of native limestone.

Completed in 1919, at a cost of $12,000, it was the first of thirty stone bridges constructed in Washington County prior to the end of the Civil War. This 210-foot bridge, with two-foot thick walls above the roadbed, carried National Road traffic for nearly 120 years until the realignment of U.S. Route 40 in 1937.

(sidebar) People Preserving their Past. “If you went out there and stood in the dark, you could hear small rocks gradually sloping into the creek.” —Glenn Dull , Washington County Engineer, 1982. Tropical Storm Agnes produced one of the worst floods in the Great Valley of Maryland. Raging waters completely submerged the bridge leaving gaping holes in the stone superstructure. Demolition was recommended but county residents raised an outcry. A coalition
Marker and Bridge image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
2. Marker and Bridge
of local historical societies, county government and the Maryland Historical Trust united to obtain funding to restore the bridge.

(photo caption) The crumbling remains of the middle arches in 1982. LeRoy Myers, Sr., a Clear Spring contractor and stone mason, restored the bridge.

(photo caption) Row’s Amusement Park attracted thousands to Wilson’s Bridge during the first half of the 20th century. The park featured rides, bath houses, an open-air theatre, a dance/ball room and a popular sliding board.
Marker series. This marker is included in the The Historic National Road marker series.
Location. 39° 39.466′ N, 77° 50.828′ W. Marker is near Hagerstown, Maryland, in Washington County. Marker is on Wilson Bridge Park Lane west of Baltimore National Pike (U.S. 40), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in Wilson Bridge Park, in front of the bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Hagerstown MD 21740, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Wilson Bridge (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Gettysburg Campaign (approx. ¼ mile away); Wilson’s Store
Wilson Bridge image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, August 5, 2006
3. Wilson Bridge
(approx. ¼ mile away); “The Bank Road” (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Gettysburg Campaign (approx. 1.1 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. Wilson Bridge. (Submitted on November 18, 2006.)
2. Wilson Bridge Collapse, 1983. (Submitted on November 18, 2006.)
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRoads & Vehicles
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 2,072 times since then and 83 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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