Building the Funkstown Bridge

Building the Funkstown Bridge (HMNL)

Location: Hagerstown, MD 21740 Washington County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 36.724', W 77° 42.612'

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"The turnpike bridge at Funkstown is the only one...which seems to belong to a town" —Helen Ashe Hays, The Antietam and its Bridges

This bridge, finished in 1823, is perhaps the oldest one over Antietam Creek. Irish immigrant laborers made up the construction crew. Many worked on the road to pay off the cost of their passage from the old country, what they called "working to pay off the dead horse." The "great brigade" of Irish leveling the roadway and breaking rocks caused one traveler to comment that they were "building a roadway good enough for any emperor to travel over..."

Workers at a local dye factory regularly taunted the immigrants. One St. Patrick's Day, the Irish workers marched into town to avenge the insults. Local militia from Hagerstown and Funkstown arrived to keep the peace. The worst injury was "a wound by the kick of a horse."

The Bridge was widened in 1931 with the addition of a concrete facade on the side that faces you. The original stone facing remains on the opposite side.

"The trolley from Hagerstown brings holiday-makers who row on the creek and make picnics along its banks....In summer the water is alive with craft...and there is a continual hum of laughter and cheerful voices." —Helen Ashe Hays, The Antietam and its Bridges.
Series This marker is part of the The Historic National Road series
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 12:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 267337 N 4388211
Decimal Degrees39.61206667, -77.71020000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 36.724', W 77° 42.612'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 36' 43.44" N, 77° 42' 36.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)240, 301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 257-289 US-40 ALT, Hagerstown MD 21740, US
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