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Forge's, or Old Forge's Covered Bridge crossed the Gunpowder Falls on Philadelphia Road at the north edge of White Marsh, in Baltimore County.
The Baltimore American provided a "Notice to Bridge Builders" on March 4, 1819 for the construction of Forge's Bridge:
By committee appointed by the Levy Court, William Jessop and Henry Thompson....to be one span of 150 feet, as shown in a model....to be weather boarded and roofed. For Great Gunpowder Falls below Ridgely's Forges.
A more detailed ad for bridge builders appeared on March 3, 1819 in the Baltimore Federal Gazette:
The Committee appointed by the Levy Court of Baltimore County to contract for a bridge to be erected across the Great Gunpowder River, hereby give Notice, that they are prepared to receive proposals for carrying this object into effect; that the site determined upon is situated a small distance below Gen. Ridgely's Forges, and will be pointed out upon application to Mr. James Tucker, residing at the Forges.
The Bridge must be of one span, about 150 feet long, 25 feet elevation for the floor, not less than 20 feet or more than 22 feet wide, clear of the king-posts; the feet of the arches to be set in cast iron shoes; the floor to be double, the under one of white pine plank, and upper of oak 2 1/2 inches thick, to be roofed with good cypress shingles, and weather-boarded with white pine plank, the ends to be finished in a plain and neat manner; the whole to be painted with two good coats; and both iron and wood work to be executed in the best manner for strength, durability, and neatness. The abutments must be included in the contract, and are to be constructed of good stone, the foundations on solid beds, and the whole masonry done in the most perfect manner to be laid in mortar from common water height to the top.
The Proposal to be accompanied by a plan or model of the Bridge, and must be left with either of the subscribers previous to Tuesday, the 16th instant.
If the bridge was finished in 1819, it likely went through a few rehabilitations over the years for it stood until 1920 when it was replaced by a concrete bridge.
The photograph shown below appeared on the cover of the March 1958 edition of Maryland Historical Magazine. The photo, circa 1900, was from the collection of William B. Marye, who lived near the bridge and knew the terrain well.¹
UPDATED: 05/18/2013, for detailed information from the Baltimore Federal Gazette article. Thanks to John McGrain for supplying us with the article.
UPDATED: 04/21/2011, for information about length of bridge and build date per 1819 newspaper article.
UPDATED: 04/12/2011, for information about photo of bridge appearing on cover of Maryland Historical Magazine.
¹Information about photo of Old Forge's Bridge appearing on cover of magazine courtesy of Historian John McGrain.