Skip to main content

The National Road - Maryland - Casselman River Bridges and Grantsville

One of the "must sees" along the National Road in Western Maryland is the Casselman River Bridges just east of Grantsville.Grantsville, MD Area (Courtesy C.C. Slater)  What makes this location unique is that within 1/4 of a mile sits three bridges from three different eras of transportation.  The area is known as 'Little Crossings', named such by George Washington in 1755.  The three bridges that cross the river include: an 80 ft stone arch bridge constructed in 1813, a truss bridge that currently carries US 40 Alt built in 1931, and finally dual spans that carry Interstate 68 built in 1976.  (See map at right.)
 
The stone arch bridge is a popular stop for photography and picnics.  When it opened in 1813, the 80 foot span was the largest of its kind in the United States.  The bridge would carry traffic for nearly 120 years when the steel truss bridge was opened within 500 feet to the south.  After sitting without use for about 20 years, the bridge was restored in the mid-1950s and is now the focal point of Casselman River Bridge State Park.
 
There is plenty to do and enjoy nearby the bridges.  On the eastern landing of the stone bridge is the Spruce Forest Artist Village.  This village features the wares of local craftsmen and artists, numerous restored buildings, and the historic Stanton's Mill.  Also part of the complex is the Penn Alps Craftshop and Restaurant.  Finally, the town of Grantsville is a classic Western Maryland village.  Grantsville has been in existence since 1785 and began as 'Cornucopia', the town is named for Daniel Grant who was given the land in 1785.  Grantsville is a historic town with plenty of inns and recreation activities nearby.

Looking west and into Casselman River Bridge State Park

Looking downstream to the 1931 US 40 Alt bridge.

From the eastern landing of the bridge.

The bridge narrows at its apex.

An upstream view of the bridge.

Wide shot of the bridge in Summer.

A closer view of the archway.


Some of the interior truss work.

Looking westbound towards the 1931 bridge.

The 1931 bridge surrounded by trees.
 



  

Site Navigation:



  • Head West into Pennsylvania
  • Head East to the Sideling Hill Cut
  •  Return to the US 40 - National Road Index

  • Sources & Links:



  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources. "Casselman River Bridge State Park." http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/western/casselman.html (October 6, 2004)
  • Casselman River Bridge State Park ---American Byways
  • Casselman River Bridge ---Maryland State Highway Administration
  • C.C. Slater ---Grantsville Area Map
  • US 40 @ MDRoads.com ---Mike Pruett 
  • Route 40 Net ---Frank Brusca 
  • Comments

    Popular posts from this blog

    California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

    This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

    Old US Route 40 on Donner Pass Road

    While completing California State Route 89 between Lassen Volcanic National Park and US Route I took a detour in Truckee up the infamous Donner Pass Road. Generally I don't dispense with the history of a roadway before the route photos but the history of Donner Pass is steeped within California lore and western migration.  The first recorded Wagon Crossing of Donner Pass was back in 1844.  The infamous Donner Party saga occurred in the winter of 1846-47 in which only 48 of the 87 party members survived.  Although the Donner Party incident is largely attributed to poor planning and ill conceived Hastings Cutoff it largely led to the infamous reputation of Donner Pass. The first true road over the Sierra Nevada Range via the Donner Pass was known as the Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Road.  The Dutch Flat & Donner Lake Wagon Road was completed by 1864 to assist with construction of the Central Pacific build the First Trans-Continental Railroad over Donner Pass.  The websit

    Old Stage Road in Tulare County and Kern County

    Old Stage Road is an approximately 30-mile rural highway comprised of Tulare County Mountain Road 1, Kern County Mountain Road 447 and Tulare County Mountain Road 109.  Old Stage originates at Jack Ranch Road near Posey and ends at the outskirts of Porterville at Deer Creek.  Old Stage Road notably is comprised of two 19th Century stage routes.  From White Mountain Road northwest to Fountain Springs, Old Stage Road overlays Thomas Baker's 1860s era stage road to Linn Valley (now Glennville) and the Kern River Gold Rush Claims.  From Fountain Springs to Deer Creek, Old Stage Road is comprised of the 1853 Stockton-Los Angeles Road. Featured as the blog cover is the northward descent on Old Stage Road along Arrastre Creek to the town site of White River.  What became White River was settled along a spur of the Stockton-Los Angeles Road as "Dog Town" when gold was discovered nearby.  By 1856 the community had been renamed Tailholt.  A stage road from Tailholt to Linn Valley w