Guyton's Falls Covered Bridge
WORLD GUIDE #
||MD-12-38x & MD-03-32x
||Little Gunpowder Falls
Nearly every crossing over the Little Gunpowder Falls, the dividing line between Harford and Baltimore counties, had a wooden covered bridge at one time or another. No exception was the bridge at Guyton's Mills near what is now Bottom Road where it crosses the river, close to Guyton's Road on the Harford County side.
Guyton's Mill Bridge was the model used for building the second Baldwin's Mill Covered Bridge in 1874-75, a little upstream of Guyton's Mill. (The specifications for Baldwin's Mill Bridge called for a "good and substantial bridge, ....to be weatherboarded and covered with white pine or shingles.")
Jack Shagena and Henry Pedden wrote in their book on Harford County bridges:
When proposals were invited to construct the Baldwin's Mill Road Bridge...the solicitation for bidders included the following statement: "This bridge is to be put together on the same plan like the one over the Falls below Guyton's Mill, and to be finished in a workmanlike manner." The surprising amount of detail in the Baldwin Mill Road Bridge specification is thus party explained by the existence of a nearby similar bridge [Guyton's Mill Bridge] where the construction timbers could be easily observed and described.¹
A bridge contract was awarded to Thomas Todd in 1871 for building a bridge on Bottom Road over the Little Gunpowder. Since the second Baldwin's Mill Bridge was to be built on the same plan as the Guyton's Mill Bridge, it assures us that the bridge built in 1871 was a covered structure. The bridge stood until the flood of 1885, when many bridges in Baltimore and Harford counties were destroyed. The Baltimore Sun published a notice for bridge builders on August 29, 1885 for the construction of a wrought iron bridge at Guyton's Mill:
Sealed proposals will be received by the County Commissioners of Baltimore and Harford counties, at the County Commissioners' Office, Belair, Harford County, from date until September 3, 1885, at 12 o'clock M., for a WROUGHT IRON PRATT TRUSS BRIDGE OVER THE LITTLE GUNPOWDER FALLS AT GUYTON'S MILLS, about one mile from Fallston Station, Maryland Central Railroad, and the dividing line between Baltimore and Harford counties.
UPDATED 04/12/2011, for information about the contract for building the bridge in 1871. Original build date was thought to be in the 1830s.
¹Jack L. Shagena, Jr., Henry C. Peden, Jr., Timber Bridges - Covered and Uncovered: Harford County's Rural Heritage. (Privately printed by the authors; Bel Air, MD, March, 2010), p. 68;