Grantsville in Garrett County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Casselman River Bridge State Park
Spanning the Cassleman River and supporting 200 years of hooves, boots, sleigh runners, and wheels of every type and description, the Cassleman River Bridge begins its third century on the National Road in Grantsville, Maryland. It is one of the oldest surviving bridges in the nation.
In 1806, the United States Congress commissioned David Shriver, Jr., a celebrated Cumberland civil engineer, to locate, plan, and construct the National Road, including the Casselman River Bridge. Shriver personally took charge of the bridge construction that began in 1813. The stone arch is 26 feet wide, 3 feet thick, and from end to end spans 80 feets, designed to accommodate C&O Canal boats should they someday cross the Alleghenies. When it opened to traffic in 1817, the Casselman River Bridge was the largest single span stone arch bridge in America.
Since its construction, many famous personalities have crossed over this bridge including Presidents James Monroe, Andrew Jackson, William Henry Harrison, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, and then-Congressman Abraham Lincoln. In 1953, following the completion of a new bridge and Route 40
In 1957, the State Road Commission acquired several acres west of the bridge. With the assistance of the Department of Forests and Parks, the two agencies developed the park and picnic area you see here today. In 1964, the Secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service declared the bridge a National Historic Landmark. In 1972 and 1993, the State Highway Administration transferred portions of the site to the Department of Natural Resources. The bridge is now the focal point of the four-acre Casselman River Bridge State Park.
Erected 2013 by Maryland Park Service.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • Roads & Vehicles. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #05 James Monroe, the Former U.S. Presidents: #09 William Henry Harrison, the Former U.S. Presidents: #11 James K. Polk, the Former U.S. Presidents: #12 Zachary Taylor, the Former U.S. Presidents: #16 Abraham Lincoln, and the National Historic Landmarks series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1813.
Location. 39° 41.811′ N, 79° 8.547′ W. Marker is in Grantsville, Maryland, in Garrett County. Marker can be reached Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 177 Casselman Road, Grantsville MD 21536, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West (here, next to this marker); Castleman’s River Bridge/The Little Crossings (a few steps from this marker); The National Pike (a few steps from this marker); “The Little Crossings” / Castleman’s River Bridge (a few steps from this marker); The Miller House (within shouting distance of this marker); Winterburg House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Original Tombstone of Solomon Glotfelty (within shouting distance of this marker); Glotfelty House (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Grantsville.
More about this marker. (Duplicate marker located at west end of bridge.)
(Black & white image of Casselman River Bridge) Photographed by Leo Beachy. Photograph courtesy of the Garrett County Historical Society. Casselman River Bridge in the early 1900s. (Black & white image of Harry C. Edwards) Photograph courtesy of Harry C. Edwards family (Black & white image of DeCorsey E. Bolden) Photograph courtesy of the DeCorsey E. Bolden family) Harry C. Edwards and DeCorsey E. Bolden, champions of the Casselman River Bridge. Their leadership in the Maryland House of Delegates helped to twice save the bridge from destruction. Delegate Edwards in the 1950s and Delegate Bolden in the 1970s. www.dnr.maryland.gov (Logo for the Maryland Park Service.)
Also see . . .
1. Spruce Forest Artisan Village. (Submitted on June 23, 2019.)
2. Casselman River Bridge State Park, Maryland Department of Natural Resources. (Submitted on June 23, 2019.)
3. Casselman Bridge State Park, Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties. (Submitted on June 23, 2019.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on June 23, 2019. This page has been viewed 167 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on June 23, 2019. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.