The Abandoned Road and Railroad Bridges at Harpers Ferry
Looking over both the Potomac River and the Shenandoah River at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, one can spot Civil War and abolitionist history pretty much all over the place. But two spots we want to discuss are the abandoned bridge piers that are visible across each of the respective rivers.
Both bridges suffered destruction before, during, and after the Civil War, but it would be not humanity, but Mother Nature that would ultimately destroy them.
|In the foreground, all that remains of this original railroad bridge over the Potomac are some piers. The active railroad bridge is in the background - it allows pedestrians to cross adjacent to trains.|
The Confederates blew up the bridge two years later, and it was rebuilt and destroyed numerous times throughout the war, sometimes being replaced by a temporary pontoon bridge.
"Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, West Virginia. Photograph taken from Maryland Heights, Maryland, USA. The Shenandoah River (left side of the image) flows into the Potomac River. On the left is a steel Pratt truss and plate girder bridge built in 1894. On the right is a deck plate girder bridge, built 1931. Both bridges were built by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad." (Mongo, via Wikipedia Commons)
|1906 view of the Harpers Ferry Bridges, all still standing.|