Day 3: Memorial Weekend, 2009
Previous Day
Next Day
Site Home
Trip Home

This is The Inn at Walnut Bottom that I mentioned at the end of yesterday. The pole and all those wires sure clutter up the photo. Historic buildings and location and fabulous food. President Grant's wife was born in a log cabin that stood where the green Dent House is now. It and the blue Cowden House form the Inn. Here's a look at my room on the first floor of the Dent House.

I headed home on the National Road. I've been noting the deterioration of these buildings just west of Frostburg since 2001. Sad.

The stone Casselman River bridge never fails to impress. There's the brute force of the massive abutments then the challenging engineering of the big arch. Beyond the railing of the 1813 stone bridge is the 1933 steel bridge currently used by US-40A and the modern concrete bridge used by I-68 and US-40.

I probably wouldn't have stopped here if not for a recent blog entry from Jim Grey that linked to an old photograph posted by Christopher Busta-Peck. That picture shows the newly constructed -- and straighter -- road over Puzzley Creek that bypasses the old stone bridge. I didn't have the picture handy so didn't get very close to duplicating it. On the other hand, I could have done worse. One of the stone railings is completely gone and the bridge continues to crumble. Thanks to Jim and Christopher for spotlighting the old photo, to the Enoch Pratt Free Library for preserving it, and to the Maryland State Roads Commission for taking it.

It's not immediately obvious but there's a lot going on in this picture. To start with, that's the State Line Methodist Church on the left with Pig Ear Road running beside it. The blue sign backed by the white building on the right hand side of the road says "Welcome to Pennsylvania". County and township signs stand just a bit nearer and next to them is what I think may be a broken off concrete state line marker. Beyond the "Welcome" sign, a white post can be seen. It is a reproduction National Road mile marker standing right next to the broken off base of the original. A Mason-Dixon Line Marker is across the road. The picture behind the second thumbnail shows the relationship of the Mason-Dixon and National Road markers. The Mason-Dixon marker shows the year 1902 since, though the line was "drawn" in 1763, it took 140 years to get all the stones placed.

The cider place was open on my return so I stopped in and traded Sam seven US dollars for a half gallon of cherry cider. Actually, it's cherry flavored apple cider. I think that's what I got her last time, too. I don't think that's what the Jack Rabbit sold but I'm far from certain. In addition to all of the stuff listed in front of his store, Sam is also a good source for local financial news. Traffic is way down. His own business is off more than 50%. The biggest of the local sawmills is down from 3 shifts to 2 and they're not buying any timber because they have plenty of their own. Over a third of lot owners at a nearby campground didn't even show up for the weekend. One of those who did gave Sam a brand new deck of cards that was unused because he couldn't find enough cronies to get up a game. Wall Street Journal? Who needs it?

There's always room for a picture of my favorite bridge.

I'm back in Ohio and, having done the three bridge picture at Casselman, it seemed only natural to do the same at Blaine but that just didn't work. You can't really see the I-70 bridge from the National Road bridge but I believe you can sometimes see semi-trailers crossing it. Not today. Too many leaves. I had to settle for "twofers" of the 1828 & 1933 bridges and the two new benches beside the brick pavement at the west end of the stone bridge. The last picture is here as a "Do you have to?" sort of thing. There's probably some well intended regulation and I suppose someone could squeeze a motorcycle between the posts but I think those seven bright yellow obstacles would indicate to most that the road was closed. Government sanctioned and/or enforced graffiti is almost as distracting as the other kind.

[Prev] [Site Home] [Trip Home] [Contact] [Next]