Utica Mills Covered Bridge – Thurmont, Maryland - Atlas Obscura

Utica Mills Covered Bridge

Washed out by the Johnstown Flood in 1889, the surviving portion of the original two-span bridge now resides at Fishing Creek. 

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The oldest of the three covered bridges in Frederick County, Maryland dates back to 1843, at which time it initially spanned the Monocacy River. In its first life as a 250-foot two-span bridge, it was known as the Devilbiss Road Covered Bridge.

This bridge was washed out by the Johnstown Flood in 1889. Two years later, the remaining half of the bridge was rebuilt at its present location over Fishing Creek and renamed Utica Mills Covered Bridge. Despite more than half of the original structure being lost, at 101 feet, it is the longest of the three covered bridges in Frederick County. Its Burr Arch truss is also a unique design feature among the three bridges and it still includes timber from the original bridge. Like the nearby Loy’s Station Covered Bridge, Utica Mills was reinforced with steel beams and a central pier to improve stability in the 1930s.

In 1993, a support beam was damaged by an oversized truck. Subsequent inspection revealed that termites and post beetles had done further damage to the timbers. This prompted a rehabilitation project that increased the bridge’s load limit to 15 tons. Another accident in June 2006 resulted in a three-week closure while damages to the west end of the bridge were repaired. 

The bridge received a major renovation in 2015 as part of a larger effort to maintain all of Frederick County’s covered bridges. It is in terrific shape as of 2021.

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