Wednesday, March 29, 2023

1869 Trail/B&O Bollman Bridge over Little Patuxent River at Savage, MD

(Bridge Hunter broke Mar 22, 2023; Historic Bridges; HAER Satellite, 156 photos)

HOrailroad has a lot of photos of the bridge to help people model it.

"The early B&O railroad started by using Howard County granite to stabilize track beds and build bridge abutments that created the first commercial granite uses in the County.  The Woodstock granite quarries were prominently used in the early 1830s to support the B&O and the same promise was held for the Guilford granite quarries as they opened in 1834. The history of the Patuxent Branch Rail (PBR) line began in 1835 when the main Washington Branch Line opened linking Washington DC to Baltimore. The Savage Rail Road Company was formed to connect the Savage Factory and Guilford Quarries to the main line" [GuilfordHistoryHoCo]

Street View, Jul 2019

HAER MD,14-SAV,1--22 (CT)
Barrel shot of bridge. - Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, Bollman Truss Bridge, Spanning Little Patuxent River, Savage, Howard County, MD

"Significance: The Bollman Truss Bridge at Savage is the last of its type in the United States. The Bollman Truss is usually credited with being the first type of iron truss bridge used in large numbers on an American railroad." [HAER-data]

"This bridge was originally on a B&O mainline, but was moved way back in 1887 to an industrial spur off of the mainline, which allowed this bridge to remain rather than be demolished and replaced with the more familiar massive-member railroad truss bridges. The bridge was built 1869, placing it among the oldest metal bridges in the country." [HistoricBridges]

Gregory Savoird posted seven photos with the comment: "Sole surviving B&O Bollman truss bridge—I took these pictures on June 30, 2022."
Wayne Davis: Here is some more information about that B&O line and the area.
Joseph Jowanowitch: Not it’s original place was moved there.
Wayne Davis: Joseph Jowanowitch yes, and stories existed that it came from the main line between Baltimore and perhaps Harper's Ferry. 
The bridge has a date of construction on it of 1869 and it was moved to its current location in 1881. There has been much misinformation about this bridge including from "authoritative sources" of which Wikipedia is not one, especially for local history.
Even the ASCE has it wrong on their website stating that the original "1852" bridge was built on that same site. Robert Vogel set me straight on that a few years ago - the original - the first - iron bridge on the B&O (which was built and designed by Bollman) was on the Washington Branch line, crossing the Little Patuxent River, at the station called "Savage Factory". Hence the confusion with the actual Savage Factory. In fact, it was built in 1850 and the patent was issued in 1852.
Local history, especially in this area, can be difficult to get through all of the previously inaccurate works. Hope this helps. I have the receipts.
[Some comments give locations for other Bollman bridges.]







According to a Google Map label, the nearby Historic Savage Mill is now a shopping mall. The bridge was moved to this site to provide access to this mill. [popup for this location on a map]
Street View, Jul 2019

It appears that one of the factory floors is now an event space.
Photo, Jul 2010

No comments:

Post a Comment