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Theodore Burr built the Rock Run Covered Bridge over the Susquehanna River in 1818. His 18-span, 4,170 foot long bridge was one of the first covered bridges in Maryland. From 1836 to 1839 The Tidewater Canal was constructed along the west shore of the Susquehanna River from Havre de Grace, Maryland to Wrightsville, Pennsylvania. Canals were one of the safest means for citizens to transport their goods for sale or trade.¹
The digging of the Tidewater Canal reached the Rock Run area about 1838. A covered bridge was built across the canal in direct route with the bridge spans across the Susquehanna. Another covered bridge was built at the Conowingo crossing about six miles upstream.² The Canal Covered Bridge at Rock Run rested at a higher level than the river spans to allow for adequate clearance for passing boats.
Although Rock Run Covered Bridge was in disuse as of 1854, the canal bridge likely stood for awhile after that.
¹ Harford Historical Bulletin,The Tidewater Canal: Harford County's Contribution to "The Canal Era" (The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc.: Number 58, Fall 1993), p. 131.
² Ibid., p. 151-152.