Conowingo Bridge

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Conowingo Bridge
Coordinates39°40′51″N 76°12′09″W / 39.68083°N 76.20250°W / 39.68083; -76.20250Coordinates: 39°40′51″N 76°12′09″W / 39.68083°N 76.20250°W / 39.68083; -76.20250
CarriesTwo lanes of US 1
CrossesSusquehanna River
LocaleConowingo, Maryland
Total length1,334-foot (407 m)
Construction start1818
Construction end1820
Opened1820 (1820)
Closed1928 (1928)

Several incarnations of the Conowingo Bridge crossed the Susquehanna River at the original location of Conowingo, Maryland, United States, about two miles upstream of the Conowingo Dam, which replaced it.


Location of the Conowingo Bridge, 1900

The original Conowingo Bridge was a seven-span, 1,334-foot (407 m), covered bridge built between 1818[1] and 1820[2][3] by Louis Wernwag, who also worked on the Rock Run Bridge.[1] (Another source lists 1844.[4]) That bridge was destroyed, in 1846[3] or 1847,[1] by a flood. A new wooden covered bridge opened in 1859.[3][5][6]

Civil War defense plan for the bridge

This crossing was an important link between Maryland and northern states in the 19th century. During the American Civil War it was guarded on its southern approach and some of the bridge decking removed to prevent surreptitious crossing.[7]

On 6 June 1907, "firebugs" set fire to the 1859 bridge using kerosene. About three-quarters of a mile of it burned.[8] The bridge was rebuilt as a steel structure in 1909.[4] In 1911 the state of Maryland bought the bridge and ended the tolls.[6]

With the completion of the dam in 1928 both the town and the crossing were relocated due to the rising waters impounded by the dam. The road crossing moved to the top of the dam. The bridge was then destroyed by dynamite.[5]


  1. ^ a b c "TIMBER BRIDGES IN MARYLAND" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-11-13.
  2. ^ Rogers, Judy. "Harford Historical Bulletin Subject Index, Volumes 1-102". Archived from the original on 2006-07-12. Retrieved 2006-07-15.
  3. ^ a b c Noll, Linda (2005). Around Susquehanna State Park. Arcadia Publishing. p. 15. ISBN 0-7385-1818-2.
  4. ^ a b "History Matters! Interpretive Plan for the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway" (PDF). p. 162. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-02-24. Retrieved 2006-07-15.
  5. ^ a b "History Matters! Interpretive Plan for the Lower Susquehanna Heritage Greenway" (PDF). p. 104. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-02-24. Retrieved 2006-07-15.
  6. ^ a b "Port Deposit: History - Year by Year". Retrieved 2006-07-21.
  7. ^ "Conowingo Bridge". Historical Society of Cecil County. Retrieved 2006-07-15.
  8. ^ "Conowingo Bridge Burned" (PDF). The Washington Post. 1907-06-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07.

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