Harford History

November 18, 2007

Four road bridges at Conowingo

A group of investors advertised in The Baltimore American on Nov. 17, 1815, that a petition was to be presented to the General Assembly for a law to authorize the building of a bridge over the Susquehanna River.

This was the first Conowingo Road Bridge and was completed, according to a letter to the American, on Oct. 2, 1820. The bridge, 1.8 miles upstream of the current site of Conowingo Dam, was washed away in a flood of March 1846.

A new company was chartered in 1847 and a new bridge, which crossed the river from Glen Cove in Harford County to near the mouth of the Conowingo Creek in Cecil County, was completed in 1859. This was a long wood-covered bridge standing on a series of stone piers. In some photographs the structure resembled a long, dark tunnel crossing the waters.

The bridge was partially washed away several times and was damaged by fire in 1907 and replaced by a steel truss bridge. This third bridge was dynamited in 1927 to make way for the Conowingo Dam.

[Harford Historical Bulletin, No. 92, Spring 2002; research by Harford County Public Library]

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