Frederick-Liberty Turnpike Covered Bridge
WORLD GUIDE #
A substantial bridge was built across the Monocacy in Frederick County in 1832. Some later articles state it was built in 1834. Unfortunately, the bridge was lost in the Johnstown Flood of 1889. Based on an article on December 18, 1830 in The Frederick Town Herald about the specifications for the bridge, it appears it was a double barrel bridge of 320 feet long and 30 feet wide:
Monocacy Bridge: Our neighbors of Washington County may well pride themselves upon the zeal which has led to the erection of bridges over nearly all of the important streams within their limits - and we trust their example may stimulate us to effect the same desirable result; one step towards this end is being accomplished in the erection of a handsome permanent bridge over that part of the Monocacy on the Liberty Road. The Levy Court, with commendable zeal, have aided the measure, and accepted the proposition of Mr. J. Schuyler, a gentleman of established reputation as a bridge builder. The cost will be $10,450, and the work be completed in twelve months from November last.
The following are to be the dimensions , & c. of the bridge. Length 320 feet; width 30 feet from the outside to outside; two ways, or tracks, each 12 feet wide; height of the center pier 30 feet from low water, 31 feet long, 8 feet at top and 13 feet at bottom. The elevation and declension 4 degrees or under; the abutments 30 feet wide and 15 feet thick at top; the timber used to be of white pine; the stone for abutments & c. will be large and bolted when necessary. In addition, the bridge will be covered with a Cyprus roof, weather boarded and painted; the whole to be completed in a workman - like manner; for which the piblic have an assurance in acknowledged competency of the contractor. A good bridge will do away with risk of drowning - which was not a comfortable anticipation to those - "Who have oft-times drove that road, With a team of six, and a heavy load."
On October 6, 1832 The Frederick Town Herald reported the bridge was competed and "is a beautiful and substantial structure, which reflects much credit on the builder."
Many bridges were lost because of the 1889 flood, mostly in Pennsylvania, but also in Maryland. An article in The News, Frederick, MD, informs readers of the loss of the Frederick-Liberty Turnpike Bridge:
Monocacy Bridge: Probably one of the oldest landmarks in Frederick county bridges has gone down in the flood. The covered bridge on the Frederick and Liberty turnpike, supposed to have been the first one built here, bearing the date 1834. It stood the storms of over half a century, has never been rebuilt, but many repairs have been put upon it. This morning it went down with the raging current, making a total of six bridges gone along the Monocacy. One part of it is lying at Mr. Kefanver's and another at Mr. Hoke's.
(Many thanks to Linda Burns for furnishing news articles about the Frederick to Liberty Turnpike Bridge over the Monocacy River.)