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|COUNTY||WORLD GUIDE #||CROSSES||TRUSS||SPANS||LENGTH||BUILT||GONE|
|Baltimore City||MD-03-14x||Harris Creek||Unk||1||117'||1837||1861|
The Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad stretched across the city of Baltimore before it headed in a northeast direction on its way to Wilmington and Philadelphia. The railroad was often referred to as the Philadelphia Railroad or Philadelphia Line. In 1836 it was known as the Baltimore & Port Deposit Railroad.
Portals, the magazine published by the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society of Pennsylvania, listed the Canton Covered Bridge over Harris Creek in its February 1965 issue. The Society reported the bridge to be built in 1837, 117' in length, crossing Harris Creek on the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad.
Our first indication that the covered bridge existed was found in an article in the Baltimore Sun on July 29, 1844:
On Saturday morning as the 9 o'clock train of cars were going to Philadelphia, and when near the Canton Bridge, a horse ran away from a cart load of brick, and all were precipitated down a high bank. This occurrence attracted the attention of the passengers in the cars, and one of them, Mr. Goldsborough Robinson, of Louisville, Ky., put his head out of the car to see the extent of the damage. Just as he did this the cars entered the bridge, and his head was caught between the car and one of the pillars, giving him a very severe blow on the left temple. A rebounding blow gave him a wound on the back of the head, and when the cars were stopped, he was perfectly insensible.
Many articles in the Baltimore Sun referred to a road bridge a little north of the railroad bridge, over Harris Creek, on Hudson St. This bridge was not a covered one.
Another article about the bridge was in the July 20, 1850 edition of the Baltimore Sun while reporting on heavy rain storms in the Baltimore area: "The railroad bridge over Harris' Creek, came in for its share of injury, a portion of the roofing being torn away."
The Canton Bridge deteriorated over the years of the 1850s. In late December 1859, the Baltimore City Commissioners agreed to pay half of the sum needed, or $600, to help repair the bridge.
The Canton Bridge was destroyed during the Civil War on April 20, 1861. The Baltimore Sun reported:
Philadelphia Road--The Bridges Burned. Late in the afternoon a squad of Maryland Guard with forty police returned from a trip on the Philadelphia railroad, whither they had been dispatched to burn the railroad bridges. They reported that they permitted the early morning train to pass without molestation, but required the engineerman to go back with his locomotive. Immediately after passing the Canton bridge, that structure was set on fire and burned.
The Baltimore City Council adopted a resolution on May 5th to temporarily rebuild the bridge and by May 13th, a new, permanent structure was completed. The bridge was not a covered one as reported in the Baltimore Sun on May 14, 1861 through an article detailing a trip on the train from Philadelphia to Baltimore:
We were now rapidly nearing Baltimore, and shortly came into the suburbs of Canton village. Here the crowd thickened until Canton bridge was reached, when it became so great that the train had to be slackened. The bridge, which was originally a covered structure, had been repaired by putting in sleepers upon piles, making all perfectly safe.
|1865 Martenet Map shows the route of the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore Railroad on Boston Street. Also provided here are the previous locations of the covered bridge on Boston Street & wooden bridge on Hudson St.|