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Wilson's Mill Covered Bridges

Harford MD-12-10 #1x Deer Creek Unk Unk Unk c1830s 1865
Harford MD-12-10 #2x Deer Creek Unk 1 Approx 80' 1868 1934
Wilson's Mill Covered Bridges crossed Deer Creek in eastern Harford County not far from the Susquehanna River. Maryland Session Laws of 1831, Chapter 49, passed on January 30, 1832 authorized the building of a covered bridge at or near William Wilson's Mill, to be built "of good materials, in a substantial manner, and to be well roofed and of a width to admit the passage of a wagon, and for a sum not exceeding one thousand dollars." This was the first covered bridge at Wilson's Mill and it lasted until about 1865. It was replaced by a second covered bridge in 1868.
Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge around 1920
Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge around 1920. Photo by William C. Kenney, courtesy Baltimore County Public Library.

Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge Postcard, postmarked 1907 Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge Postcard, 1930s
Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge Postcard, postmarked 1907. Courtesy Todd Clark collection. Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge Postcard, early 1930s issue. Courtesy Todd Clark collection.

Wilson's Mill bridges were often written about in local newspapers. The Belair Times in an undated article, probably from the late 1930s, wrote about the bypassing of Wilson's Mill Bridge:
Wilson's Mill Bridge spans Deer Creek south of Darlington. The bridge is on the road from Darlington to Havre deGrace. It has been shunted aside by the new road (MD RT161) which has been built, and remains but a relic. It is understood that it became the property of Colonel E. McAllen. Many of his friends have suggested that it very readily could be utilized as an attractive tea house, as it is situated in a picturesque section, crosses Harford's beautiful stream, and is located in the midst of a cultural people and fine farming land.
The article continued to say that Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge "was built in 1868 to replace another covered bridge which had been washed away in a heavy flood."
From an article in the Aegis, June 18, 1953:
The covered bridge span across Deer Creek stood for many years near Wilson's Mill (became Stokes Mill in 1931). The wooden bridge was swept away in the flood of 1934.
A well written piece from the Historic American Engineering Research website, call number HAER MD,13-DARL.V,4-, provides a history of the bridges at Wilson's Mill:
The current bridge (steel bridge, since replaced by a concrete bridge) is the third known to cross Deer Creek in the vicinity of MD Route 161. Two earlier bridges were wooden covered bridges. The first bridge reportedly crossed the creek directly opposite the miller's house. The second covered bridge was located about 50 feet of the present roadway on a different alignment. The construction date of the first is unknown; however, it is reported to have been washed away in a spring freshet of 1865. The second covered bridge, the remains of whose abutments and wing walls remain near the present bridge was built in 1868. It continued in use until about 1930 or 1931 when the current bridge was completed.
Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge Abutments 2008 Wilson's Mill 2008
Wilson's Mill Covered Bridge north abutment remains. Photo 2008. Wilson's Mill. Photo 2008.

Wilson's Mill/Stokes Mill, although no longer in operation, still resides alongside the concrete bridge over Deer Creek.

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