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Oldtown Covered Bridge

Allegany MD-01-06x Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Burr Arch & Town 1 Unk c1870s 1906
A lattice truss covered bridge crossed the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Oldtown, near Lock 70. The bridge, almost an identical twin to the one at Wiley Ford about fifteen miles west on the canal, was likely built at the same time, around 1870 to 1880, and by the same builder. The bridge still existed around the turn of the 19th-20th century. Originally, the bridge was thought to be built in 1850. According to company records, the first bridge built at this location was a pivot bridge.¹ As the Oldtown pivot bridge deteriorated through neglect, it was replaced by a covered bridge. Photos of the bridge from the turn of the century showing wear indicates the bridge was likely built in the 1870 to 1880 era.
The photo shown below is on the front cover of the book From Historic Oldtown, Maryland by Irvin G. Allen. Allen provides a description of the photo: "Front cover picture shows the covered bridge over the C & O Canal at Oldtown, Maryland at Lock 70 that burned down in 1906. The bridge is on the old Indian Trail that leads to the south (Virginia) to the right of the Cresap house."
¹Information from Karen Gray, Hagerstown, MD, based on C&O Canal documents.
Oldtown Covered Bridge
Bridge at Oldtown over C&O Canal. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

UPDATED: 6/11/2013, revised build date based on information provided by Karen Gray that the original bridge at Oldtown was a pivot bridge, not a covered bridge. Also, removed information regarding source saying covered bridge was bult in 1850 and removed information about Cresap's bridge.
UPDATED: 9/19/2011, more information about the bridge and when it was lost in the book From Historic Oldtown, Maryland by Irvin G. Allen.
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