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Baldwin's Mill Covered Bridge

Baltimore & Harford MD-03-25 #1x & MD-12-15 #1x Little Gunpowder Falls Unk Unk Unk c1833 1874 or earlier
Baltimore & Harford MD-03-25 #2x & MD-12-15 #2x Little Gunpowder Falls Burr arch 1 66' 1874-75 Unk
Baldwin's Mill Bridge was one of the earliest built covered bridges in Maryland. The Maryland Session Laws of 1832, Chapter 143, passed on March 7, 1833 called for the building of the bridge:
An act for building a bridge across the Little Falls of Gunpowder, near Balden's (sic) Mills.
Whereas, it is represented to this General Assembly, by the petition of sundry inhabitants of Baltimore and Harford counties, that a bridge is much wanted across the little falls of Gunpowder, that divide the two counties upon the road leading from the upper cross roads by Balden's Mills, to Baltimore City.
The act called for a "good and substantial bridge built for, to be weather-boarded and covered with white pine or cedar shingles, and done in a workmanlike manner." Section 2 of the Act authorized the commissioner of Baltimore and Harford counties to authorize $250 to each county to pay for the building of the bridge.
The bridge at Balwin's Mill was probably lost sometime before 1874, for an article in the Harford Democrat on September 25, 1875, called for proposals for "building a bridge over the Little Falls, near Baldwin's Mill." Very detailed specifications for building the bridge were provided:
Width of abutments 19 feet, 5 feet at the bottom, tapered to 8 feet at top, and 9 feet high from lower water; wing walls (Baltimore County side), 22 feet long, 4 feet at bottom, 2 at top. Harford County side - 24 feet long, 4 feet at bottom, 2 at top, and 60 feet from face to face. The foundation of the abutments to be dug 4 feet below the bed of the Falls and the walls to set on white oak timbers 12 in. thick; the walls to be well-bounded together with good stone and centered with Rosendale's best cement. The length of the Bridge from out to out 66 feet, 15 feet wide in the clear, and 14 feet high; the chords 5x12; arches 5x12;posts 8x10; spring pieces 4x4; joists 5x8; braces 6x8; plates 8x8;cross ties 6x8; roof braces 4x4; runners 4x4; floor braces 4x6; and two skewers; 5 iron rods across; the floor to be good white oak 2-1/2 inches thick; the bridge to be built with the best white pine; the shingles to be best cypress hearts; eaves to extend over 2 feet 6 inches; the ends to overjet 7 feet; the floor to raise 15 inches in centre; weather-boarded with best inch pine culls up and down.
This bridge to be put together on the same plan that the one over the Falls below Guyton's Mill and to be finished in a workmanlike manner. The contractor will be required to give bond and approved security for his faithful performance.
From an unidentified newspaper, an article from 1885 titled "Letter from Upper Crossroads" reported that the flood of early August caused "great loss to William Baldwin. It took out his mill dam and the water was up to the 2nd story of his mill. The Bridge at the Baldwin's Mill, on the road to Baltimore Station, did not go, but it was moved about 6 inches."
Although it was thought that the bridge was lost by 1900, an article in the Baltimore Sun on August 11, 1927 reports the authorizing of the Western Maryland Dairy Corporation to transport milk over seven routes, one of which included passing over a covered bridge at Baldwin's Mill. It is possible that the bridge was off of the main road or possibly even a replacement covered bridge built on Baldwin's Mill Road. The milk route included the following: "Albrecht's Corner to Baldwin Road, to Baldwin School House, dirt road to covered bridge, return to Baldwin's, to Fork, to Kingsville, to Mount Vista Road, to Maryland Avenue, to Oliver Street, to Linden Avenue, and Dolphin Street, Baltimore."
Baldwin's Grist Mill is shown on the 1878 Martinet map on the north side of the Little Gunpowder River in Harford County and on the southeast side of Baldwin Mill Road.
UPDATE 04/22/2010: For informaton about rebuilding the bridge in 1874-1875 and specifications for the bridge.

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