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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.
 



  

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  • 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 
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