Thursday, February 12, 2009

A Contenious Bridge

It seems the residents of Port Tobacco were never really fond of the bridge over Port Tobacco Run. The abstracts of the Port Tobacco Times have several references to the bridge, its construction, improvements, and use.

The first reference in the Times was in 1853 when the County Clerk, James McCormick asked for bids to build the bridge over Port Tobacco Run. The references to its actual construction are brief and tell of its wooden construction with locust posts as supports and that the wood was coming from the Port Tobacco Warehouse. The newspaper has plenty of references to horse falls, carriage spills, and other accidents along the bridge. And most have a complaint accompanying it. In 1862, the citizens and businessmen of Port Tobacco raised $500 to fix the crossing.

Of course there is also the connection to Joseph Cocking and his being hanged in 1896 on the bridge. Whether its the same bridge or crossing as in previous years we don't know.

The maps and drawings of the town that we have show a bridge northwest of the Court House in the swamp. Local residents have also told us of the old bridge. The bridge has played an important role in the history of the town and it will one day be a focus of investigation by the project.

- Peter

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