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Martinsburg in Berkeley County, West Virginia — The American South (Appalachia)
 

The Story of Two Bridges: The Colonnade Bridge and the East Burke Street Bridge

 
 
The Story of Two Bridges: The Colonnade Bridge and the East Burke Street Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 25, 2020
1. The Story of Two Bridges: The Colonnade Bridge and the East Burke Street Bridge Marker
Inscription.  
Looking Upstream and Northeast at the Colonnade Bridge, Circa 1860

In 1849, the Baltimore and Ohio established its railroad shops in Martinsburg and erected here two most noteworthy roundhouses and workshop buildings. The B&O erected a crossing on the Tuscarora River as a special complement to the city. The unique viaduct included ten 44' spans, composed of iron and timber. The spans were supported on two abutments and 18 beautiful stone Doric columns. Not surprisingly, it was called the Colonnade or Pillar bridge. Note that the East Burke Street Bridge can be seen in the left background.

Railroad Map of the Colonnade Bridge Site

Notice the old mill and run structure flow below the Colonnade Bridge also. The current structure has the stone arch culverts below the railroad in downstream of your location.

Only Known Photo of the Colonnade Bridge

The Colonnade Bridge was not rebuilt but rather a large embankment was constructed between the large stone walls you see in front of you now. The latest underpass structure for the street
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is a combined steel girder and concrete slab bridge built in 1911. It is assumed that portions of the East Burke Street Arch survive the attack.

Looking Upstream at East Burke Street Bridge Circa 2012 Prior to Renovation

The East Burke Street Bridge was constructed as early at 1861. Near the turn of the century, the arch ring stones were replaced with brick. The downstream arch ring has a keystone bearing the date 1900. The arch was renovated in 2019. The City of Martinsburg and the West Virginia Department of Transportation consulted with the engineers from Burgess & Niple to preserve the character of the original stone arch while increasing its load carrying capacity. The original stone arch barrel was topped with steel reinforced concrete. The walls are concrete with local limestone facings. Orders Construction Company completed the project for a cost of $2.4 million.

Colonnade Bridge burned June 13, 1861 by J.E.B. Stuart's Cavalry

In June 1861 orders were issued to the local Confederate forces to destroy all property that might prove useful to the enemy. The Colonnade Bridge was blown up, the Opequon bridge demolished, thirty five locomotives destroyed and the shops and roundhouse razed.

The artistic rendering below captures the devastation with only the melted rails
The Story of Two Bridges: The Colonnade Bridge and the East Burke Street Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), April 25, 2020
2. The Story of Two Bridges: The Colonnade Bridge and the East Burke Street Bridge Marker
and stone columns remaining once prominent structure.

Ruins of the Viaduct

This exhibit was based on information made available by Berkeley County Historical Society and the National Register for Historic Places Inventory for Baltimore and Ohio Railroad and Related Industries Historic District, dated November 1979. The railroad map was provided by CSX Transportation.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & StreetcarsWar, US Civil. In addition, it is included in the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) series list. A significant historical date for this entry is June 13, 1861.
 
Location. 39° 27.405′ N, 77° 57.609′ W. Marker is in Martinsburg, West Virginia, in Berkeley County. Marker is on East Burke Street just west of Swartz Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 248 E Burke St, Martinsburg WV 25404, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Roundhouses and Shops / Railroad Strike of 1877 (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Harry Flood Byrd (about 600 feet away); Adam Stephen House (about 700 feet away); Girlhood Home of Belle Boyd (about 700 feet away); Adam Stephen House – 309 East John Street (about 800
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feet away); Triple Brick Museum (about 800 feet away); Berkeley Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Triple Brick Building – 311-313 East John Street (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Martinsburg.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 26, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 26, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 348 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 26, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 13, 2024