The National Road in Ohio: The Cassell and Fox Creek S bridges

Over Memorial Day weekend in 2011, my dog Gracie and I explored the National Road all the way across Ohio. That road is now US 40 in most places. I’m bringing the long trip report over from my old Roads site.

Just before the National Road took me out of Guernsey County, I encountered another S bridge.

Cassell S Bridge

The Cassell S bridge was built in 1828 and renovated in 2006. It’s closed to traffic.

Cassell S Bridge

Pretty soon, this deck is going to need to be mowed!

Cassell S Bridge

This milestone stands nearby. This is what Ohio’s National Road milestones all looked like, and you’ll see them here and there along the route. There are fewer and fewer of them the farther west you go, and west of Columbus I don’t recall seeing any. Some of the markers are reproductions, but this one looks like an original to me.

Cumberland 186

Past the S bridge there are two brief old alignments before the road leaves Guernsey County. The first is Mayfair Lane, which I didn’t stop to photograph.

Imagery © 2012 Digital Globe, GeoEye, USDA Farm Service Agency. Map data © 2012 Google.

The second is Best Road, which I did.

Imagery © 2012 Digital Globe, GeoEye, USDA Farm Service Agency. Map data © 2012 Google.

There are two reasons I stopped to photograph Best Road. The first is that it towers over current US 40. I took this photo from Best Road, looking down on US 40.

Best Rd.

The second reason I stopped was this great old house. It dates to the 1870s and was originally home to Civil War veteran Oliver Barnett. It’s a “homegrown home” – the lumber used to build it came from trees on the property. Even the stone in its foundation was quarried here.

Best Rd.

For this photo, I squatted down trying to get the tree branches to serve as kind of a frame for the scene. I couldn’t avoid having them block the roof. But otherwise, this is a photographically more interesting photo than the one above.

Best Rd.

Best Road is an uphill climb along most of its short length. Here’s where the hill crests.

Best Rd.

The National Road shortly passes into Muskingum County. New Concord is immediately east of the county line. It was a charming small town that I didn’t stop to photograph.

On New Concord’s west end stands another restored S bridge. Like the Cassell S bridge a few miles back in Guernsey County, this, the Fox Creek S bridge, was built in about 1828. It’s easy to miss. I was looking for it, and I only caught it out of the corner of my eye as I sped past. I had to turn around and come back to it.

Imagery © 2012 Digital Globe, GeoEye, USDA Farm Service. Map data © 2012 Google.

Isn’t it a beauty? I think I like this one a little bit more than the Cassell bridge.

Fox Creek S Bridge

This photo, which looks to be from the 1930s, shows the bridge as it was then. US 40 already bypasses it on the left.

Here’s the deck. A short segment of the brick road extends west beyond the bridge, and you can drive on it to access a small parking area.

Fox Creek S Bridge

This bridge’s restoration added a narrow path that lets you get close and even walk under the bridge.

Fox Creek S Bridge

It’s not very often you can get personal with the underside of an old bridge!

Fox Creek S Bridge

This milestone, probably a reproduction, stands nearby.

Cumberland 190

Next: A brick road and the town of Norwich.

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