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 152

    Circumstance had me out in the Monterey Peninsula again this week.  Generally I try to take a route like California State Route 198 or ever County Route J1 to get across the Diablo Range but time had me in a slight bind.  That being the case I took the popular way across the Diablos on California State Route 152 via Pacheco Pass.  152 is one of infamy given it is really the primary route for truckers to get from I-5 west in San Joaquin Valley to US 101 in Salinas Valley.  After zig-zagging some accidents on/off California State Route 99 near Madera in the rural outskirts of the County bearing the same name I began my westbound trek on 152.




    CA 152 is called the William Whitehurst Highway, at least it is west from CA 99.  The entire route of CA 152 in San Joaquin is an expressway aside from a small portion in the city of Los Banos.



    The first junction on CA 152 is with CA 233 which is a small 4 mile highway that travels northeast to CA 99.






    Next westbound CA 152 encounters the junction w…

    The National Road - Ohio - Muskingum and Licking Counties

    As it travels from Zanesville towards Columbus, US 40 goes through numerous small towns, changes from two to four lanes and back numerous times, but most importantly the old road keeps its rural charm.  Between Zanesville and Gratiot, there are four former alignments of the old road that can be found: just west of Zanesville, Mt. Sterling, Hopewell and Gratiot.  Most stretches are very short and can be easily recognized with names as "Old US 40", "Old National Road" or some combination of the two.

    Zanesville:
    Just west of US 40's interchange with Interstate 70 (Exit 152) runs an old alignment.

    Mt. Sterling:
    Another old alignment goes through this small Muskingum County village.
    Hopewell:
    Today, US 40 passes south of the community of Hopewell.  The old two lane road is known as Hopewell National Road.
    Gratiot:
    Old US 40 is known as Main Street in this tiny village of 200 or so residents.  The old highway at times seems forgotten through here.
    Just west of Gratiot, US 40 …

    Throwback Thursday - October 12, 2017

    In this week's edition of Throwback Thursday, we travel back to December 2003 to the southern end of Interstate 99 in Bedford, Pennsylvania, where we can see button copy guide signage for US 30 and US 220 (US 220 runs concurrent with I-99 through this part of the Keystone State). Since I-99 was relatively new at the time, it feels like it was an afterthought.