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Full text of "The history and construction of the Jug Bridge near Frederick, Maryland."

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file:///X|/Special%20Collections/purgatory/Phi%20Mu/Seamen,%20Milton%20L/Blueprint.txt[5/16/2011 11:03:33 AM] 






THE HISTORY AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE JUG BRIDGE NEAR 
FREDERICK , MARYLAND 

PRESENTED BY 
MILTON L. SEAMAN 



TO 



BETA CHAPTER OF MARYLAND 
TAU BETA PI 



JANUARY. 16, 1931 



. .- PC D G E ON N A T I O N A I ■- jHW^ FREDERICK Ml 



r 





THE HISTORY AND CONSTRUCTION OF THE JUG BRIDGE NEAR 
FREDERICK, MARYLAND. 

INTRODUCTION 

Situated on the old Baltimore-Frederick turnpike 
almost three miles east of Frederick over the Monocacy 
River, Jug Bridge stands a monument to the enterprise, 
foresight and engineering sKill of the early settlers 
in Frederick County. Its stately arches of native 
limestone and quaint demijohn of the same material be- 
speak great age, and it is only upon close inspection 
that recent touching up of the weather-beaten masonry 
is seen. 

EARLY HISTORY 

The history of the structure is closely bound 
with that of the road it serves, being built at the 
same time and for the same company. The jug itself, as 
seen in the photographs, bears inscriptions and is 
certainly the most reliable source of information con- 
cerning its early history. These inscriptions are as 
follows: On one side of the square portion splitting the 
ball .representing the stopoer of the jug, the name, 
J m Cockey, appears while the adjoining edge bears the 
the legend John E. Howard P-, on the three sides of the 
small square portion immediately below the ball there 
appears* 

Monoquao Bridge Built of 1808 

Cy. — Year 1809 

4 



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while on the next square part below there is: 

John Ellicott of John George Baer Jefse Hollingsworth 
Luke Tiernan John McPherson Thomas Lee 

William Lorman John Graham Managers 



and finally on the round part immediately below there 

follows! 

John Lewis Joseph Evans Jona Ellicott Leo Harbaugh 

Sampler Super intendant First Produced a as Superintend 
Secry. and of the Road Bold Plan Built the Bridge 
surveyor of this bridge as it now stands 

with 4 arches 

65 span 

The above are for the most part quite well preserved, 
some of the writing being readable on the photographs. The 
uppermost square parts are chipped, however, rendering the 
parts indicated by dashes illegible. 

That P-appearing after the name of John E. Howard is 
part of an original inscription signifying "president" seems 
certain; also that it applies to the name Jm Oockey as well 
seems likely on the supposition that they were successive 
presidents of the road company during the period of con- 
struction. 

Attention is called to the antique spelling of 
Monocaey in the next line , vis., "Monoquaocy" , this 
probably being the original Indian spelling of the word; 
also the date of construction, 1803-1809. 

Further light is cast upon the early history of the 
structure by the following quotation from "The History of 

Carroll ton Manor" by I. J. Grove. Mr. Grove says, 



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"I might add right here, the old Jug Bridge was built 
by a well known Frederick County man, Leonard Harbaugh, 
for the turnpike company at a cost of $55,000. This 
bridge will stand untill the hills around are torn to 
pieces. Mr. Harbaugh was recognized as being one of the 
best etone masons of his time. He had the confidence 
and esteem of General George Washington. He built the 
three locks at the Great Falls of the Potomac to make 
the river navigable for long boats; the undertaking at 
that time was thought to be an impossibility. From 
Harpers Ferry he made the Shenandoah River navigable by 
by building locks and cutting canals for upward of a 
hundred miles above the Ferry. Mr. Harbaugh built many 
stone buildings in Baltimore and Georgetown, and the 
public buildings in Washington, including the President's 
house before it was burned by the English in 1814. 

The Jug Bridge, so called from the huge demijohn 
that guards Its entrance, was started in 1807 and com- 
pleted in 1808. This ancient bridge over the Monocacy 
River defies the heavy traffic of the national Pike and 
not a hint is heard of a. new structure. " 

The discrepancy between the dates given on the jug 
and those given by Mr. Jarboe is unexplainable inasmuch 
as he, being a resident of Frederick, certainly had access 
to that source of reference. John Thomas Scharf in his 



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"Hi story of Western Maryland" gives the date of construc- 
tion s.s 1808, and later says that the Baltimore-Frederick 
turnpike was also completed in thst year. The weight of 
evidence, however, would certainly lie with the record on 
the jug as it was from all external evidences bu£lt as an 
integral part of the bridge itself, 

THE BALTIMORE-FREDERICK TURNPIKE . 

No history of Jug Bridge would be complete without 
some record of the old turnpike it was built to serve, 
and continues to do with remarkable efficiency. This 
road, now national Highway, Route 40, was built, as the 
name "turnpike" signifies, by a private company and oper- 
ated for toll by that company until taken over by the 
state. As evidence of those days there still stands at 
the west end of the bridge, at the start of the fill, a 
toll house whose exposed beams, overhanging roof, and 
walls at foot and a half or more in thickness, speak of 
the days when teamsters hauled whiskey, flour and other 
produce to Baltimore. And passing this point at the 
start of a three of four day journey, were stopped by a 
long pole across the road to pay the levy for the use of 
the road. 

That there was a need for such a road is shown by 
the following quotation from Scharf "s: "In 1805 a turn- 
pike from Baltimore to Frederick was commenced and car- 
riages were substituted for horseback riding, which, owing 



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to the inferiority of public roads, had previously been the 
most popular mode of conveyance for both sexes. The turn- 
pike was finished in 1808." 

Further light is shed by the following quotation from 
"History of Frederick County, Md." by T. J. C. Williams, we 
read: "At a session of the legislature of 1804-1805 a corn- 
was incorporated to build a turnpike road from Baltimore 
through Frederick and Mlddletown to Boonsboro. On the 
twenty- sec oid of April the company organized. All the shares 
offered had been promptly taken. Jonathan Ellicott was 
elected president. Joseph Swearingen, Henry P. Warfield and 
James McPherson of Frederick County were among the directors. 
In Nov., 1806, there was a meeting of the company which 
authorized an increase of capital stock and elected Robert 
Gilraor, Jr., president." And reading further in Scharf 
we find the following list of officers of the Baltimre- 
Frederick Turnpike Company elected May 13, 1805: President, 
Jonathan Ellicott; Treasurer, William Cook; Managers, John 
EcPherson, John Eager Howard, Samuel Smith, Thomas Sprigg, 
John Ellicott of John, Solomon Etting, John Donne 11, George 
Baer. The apparent discrepancies between these various 
records probably merely indicate an everchanging personnel 
rather than any real error in the records themselves. 

Further history of the road shows an ever increasing 
usefulness until today it forms an important link in the 
great system of highways belting the continent. Since, 

however, this history is concerned primarily with Jug Bridge 



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itself, further discussion will be conf iie d to that structure. 
LAFAYETTE'S VISIT TO FREDERICK 

The next event of importance connected with the histori- 
cal bridge is recorded on a bonze tablet, placed just east of 
the bridge, about ninety feet from the jug; A photograph 
of this tablet and the boulder on which it is placed is in- 
cluded in this history. It reads, "General Lafayette, friend 
of America and liberty, on his way to Frederick, D e cember 29, 
1824, greeted by a delegation of citizens, including the gal- 
lant Lawrence Everhart, who had come to escort him into the 
city, Lafayette here made an address, expressing thanks for 
his hearty welcome. Erected by Sergeant Lawrence Everhart, 
Chapter - Sons of the American Revolution. September 17, 1926." 

In the "History of Frederick County, Md. " by T. J. q. 
Williams, the following quotation from "Fredericktown Herald" 
of January 1, 1825, is found: "The General alighted on the 
bridge and after several addresses of congr adulation to all 
of which, with his usual felicity of manner, he made the 
following reply: ' I am highly gratified, gentlemen, to greet 
you in your happy valley, where agricultural and manufacturing 
industry practiced by a rapidly increasing population, are 
the reward of your patriotic and domestic virtue. Receive 
my best thanks for your kind welcome, for your affecting 
reverence, sir, to past time; for your affectionate wishes, 
and to permit me to hasten to the revolutionary companions 
whom you have had the much valued attention to bring with you. • 



-?*- 



Many introductions of the civil authorities and citizens 
took place, the General ascended an elegant barouche { for 
which, we, the committee, are indebted to the polite attention of 
Mr. John Cockey) , drawn by four beautiful, black horses, richly 
harnessed and attended by two postillions and four groomsmen 
in white dress and blue sashes***." 

The above reception was followed by festivities which 
lasted far into the night, for every one in Frederick was 
anxious to do honor to this friend of America, a citizen of 
Maryland by special act of the Legislature. 

THE BATTLE OF THE MONOCACY 

The next reference found to Jug Bridge is in connection 
with the battle of the Monocacy (July 9, 1S64) , in which it 
formed a strategic point in the day's activities. 

Here General Early in ©harge of Confederate t roups was 
stopped, or at least, delayed in his march to Washington by 
General Lew W 8 l"Lace, commanding the Federal forces. Though the 
result was a defeat for the Union troups, the delay caused was 
highly important, as it enabled additional toups to be rushed to 
Washington in time to meet Eprly when he finally reached his 
objective. 

In the hiBtory of Frederick County, Maryland, by T. J. C. 
Williams, the following references are made to the stone bridge 



Middle town Vo//e, * ,«.4j * ^^ 







Scol» 



*ncf> • I mile 



J 



MONOCACV BATTLEFIISLD AM) VlCIMI V 



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on the Baltimore pike, which ie now known as Jug Bridge, in 
an account by Major Go Idaho rough, then a volunteer aid-de- 
camp on the staff of Brigadier- General E. B. Tyler, with the 
rank of first lieutenant: "Our line, somwwhat in the form 
of a semi-circle, extended from Baker's farm on the George- 
town pike to the Monocacy Junction, thence along the east 
hank of the Monocacy River to the stone bridge on the Balti- 
more turnpike, and to Hughes' Ford beyond, a distance of 
about six miles in all *** and a picket line on the Baltimore 
turnpike on the west: side of the Monocacy, guarding the store 
bridge to prevent them from getting on our right flank ***.» 
He says further: "At the stone bridge on the B a ltimre turnpike 
Col. Brown, commanding the 144th and 149th Ohio, deployed a 
skirmish line along the crest of the ridge on the west side 
of the Monocacy at day break, and having placed a strong guard 
at Drums Ford ***." 

The map enclosed shows the position of the t roups during 
this engagement, .and was taken from an account by an eye-witness 
and participant of the battle. From the account given it does 
not appear that any actual fighting took place at the bridge, 
but there was certainly fighting close by and it stood by virtue 
of its indestructibility, every wooden structure in the vicinity 
being burned. 

RECENT HISTORY 

From all accounts the bridge stood as originally sonstructed 



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until fairly recent years, -when the roadway was resurfaced with 
macadam, and concrete used to replace the stone topping of the 
balustrades. 

In 1930 a contract was let by the State Roads Com^isdon 
for the encasing of the piers which were badly eroded and the 
repointing of considerable of the masonry. This work has re- 
cently been completed and now the bridge } as good as new, stands 
ready for another hundred years of service. 

construction 
material:. 

As has been previously stated Jug Bridge is of the stone 
arch type, made of native limestone for the most part, but with 
brownstone inset in several places. 

GENERAL DIMENSIONS 

There are four arches, which together with the abutments 
make a total length of four hundred and twenty-four feet five 
inches. Serving as a transition between the gradually sloping 
flats on the west of the Monocacy and the steeply rising bluffs 
on the opposite side, it was built on a grade of 4.40^. The 
higher side on the east rising 61 feet 5 inches' above the water 
to the center of the arch, or 70 feet 3 inches to the top of 
the railing, as against similar measurements of 41 feet 4 inches 
and 48 feet 4 inches on the west. 



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ROADTCAY 

The original surface was merely dirt filled in over the 
masonry, but is at present macadam with concrete shoulders, and 
whefcl guards. The total width between balustrades is 28 feet 
6 inches, which is unusually wide for the days in which it was 
built. 

PIERS 

The piers supporting the afiches are rounded on the 
upperstream end, and faced with brownstone, on the other end 
angular and unfaced. There original length was approximately 
58 feet, with a width of 13 feet, 6 inches at the base. The 
new encasement extend these measurements to 66 feet, 6 inches 
and 17 feet, 6 inches , respectively. 

a|buttmeuts 

The afcbutments are continous with the bridge it self 
and made of the same material with occesional blocks of 
brown stone inset into the lime stone masonry. The apparently 
reasonless use of this brown Btone might be accounted for 
by assuming a surplus above that used on the - piers, it being 
used here rather than wasted. 

The abbutment on the west curves sharply northward 
beyond the last arch and ends with a. foundation for the jug, 
circular in shape. This curve is the only bad feature on 
the bridge causing a considerable slowing of traffic. 



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THE JUG 
The jug from which the name of the bridge is derived 
is a demijohn standing some 14 or 15 feet above the road- 
way made of the same material as the bridge at the bottom 
arid of brown stone at the top where the inscriptions are. 
The ball on top which represents the stopper seems to be 
placed crooked as though it had fallen off and been replaced 
carelessly, no record however of any such occurence was found. 

CO NCLUSION 
In concluding let me again quote Mr. Grove's statement. 
He says "This bridge will stand until the hills around 
are torn to peices." This prophecy seems to thfe observer 
to be likely of fulfillment.