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Rock Covered Bridge

Cecil MD-07-25x Little Elk Creek Unk Unk Unk Before 1857 1884
Rock Bridge was one of the earlier built covered bridges in Cecil County. On September 15, 1857, the Cecil County Road Commissioners authorized Matthew Borland $75 to repair the abutments of the bridge and on January 19, 1858, the Commissioners reported "repairs for the bridge at Rocks Meeting House executed and passed, $84.87."
Evidence that the bridge was in disrepair was reported at the July 11, 1882 Commissioners meeting: "Ordered, that Commissioner Hess be and he is hereby authorized and directed to have a new bridge over Little Elk Creek at the 'Rock' in the 4th district." The new bridge was probably intended to be of steel for this was the era when wooden covered bridges were being replaced by the iron and steel bridges.
Most likely, the new bridge was never built and the old covered bridge met its demise in the flood of 1884. The Baltimore Sun on June 27, 1884 reported that many bridges were lost by flood waters that ravaged the area. The article included mentioning "on Little Elk Creek a large covered bridge at Rock Church is gone." The Cecil Whig on June 28, 1884 said, "The bridge across the Little Elk at Rock Church is washed away. It was a large covered one."
Bridge at Rock Church
We are almost certain now that this old postcard above is of Rock Bridge. The area to the right of the bridge appears to be the Bee Hive community which partially still stands today on Telegraph Road, Route 273. Rock Bridge was located in Fair Hill just 3.2 miles from Foxcatcher Farms Bridge. Originally we thought this could possibility be a photo of Foxcatcher Farms Bridge, but the bridge in this photo is shorter than Foxcatcher Farms Bridge is today meaning Foxcatcher Farms Bridge would have had to be rebuilt and extended sometime between about 1900 and 1941. Emily Kirby, a researcher specializing in the Fair Hill area, along with Mike Dixon, expert historian for Cecil County, both agree that this is NOT Foxcatcher Farms Bridge and both believe it is Rock Bridge. The terrain of the area and the many telegraph poles shown in the photo do not represent what the area at Foxcatcher Farms Bridge ever looked like. It is likely that the bridge was built by Ferdinand Wood, the same builder for Foxcatcher Farms Bridge. What is still unresolved is that we believe Rock Bridge was lost in 1884, meaning this photo had to be a postcard from that era, or the bridge was not totally lost and was restored, or it is a second bridge at this location, or simply a postcard made after the bridge was lost from an earlier photo. The postcard appears to be typical of those at the turn of the century.
Rock Bridge was located on Telegraph Road, Route 273, between Rock Church Road and North Little Elk Creek Road.

UPDATED: 10/15/2012, information added under photo with more confirmation about this photo is actually of Rock Bridge.

UPDATED: 09/04/2012, changed photo of Rock Bridge for a better view and added text questioning whether this is Rock Bridge or Foxcatcher Farms Bridge.

UPDATED: 04/08/2011, added photo of Rock Bridge.

UPDATED: 06/28/2010, for information in the Cecil Whig about the loss of the bridge in the 1884 flood.

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