You may remember the name Antietam from high-school history: the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day of the Civil War. Your history book probably featured a battle scene image that included a stone bridge over Antietam Creek. Maybe it was this image.
Many stone bridges were built across Antietam Creek, as well as other Maryland creeks and rivers, in the 1800s. Many of them still stand. The National Road passes within six miles of the Battle of Antietam site and crosses Antietam Creek in Funkstown, about 11 miles north. A stone bridge was built here in 1822 and was widened in the 1930s. The photo shows the 1930s side; the other side shows the original stone. If I had known that when I was there, I would have gone around to see!
George Stewart stopped at the same place in 1949 or 1950 to photograph this bridge for his book US 40: A Cross-Section of the United States of America.
Christopher Busta-Peck, who used to write the excellent 125 M to B blog about the National Road, gave me a tip about two stone bridges over Antietam Creek just a half-mile off the National Road just south of Funkstown. The first is on Poffenberger Road and the second is on Garis Shop Road. Green arrowheads locate the bridges on the map:
I liked the graceful bridge on Poffenberger Road best. It was built in 1840. Claggett’s Mill stands nearby; the bridge is named for the mill.
This squared-off bridge on Garis Shop Road was built in 1824. It’s known as the Roxbury Mills Bridge.
I can just imagine Union Army troops on their horses crossing these bridges!