Michael O. Bourne
Loys Station Covered Bridge
Old Frederick Road, Rocky Ridge, Frederick County
The Loys Station Bridge is a one-lane, twin-span, multiple king post, wooden truss covered bridge which carries Old Frederick Road over Owen's Creek. The wood bridge is 90' in length and 14' in width, and set on two random-coursed stone abutments which have been partially encased in concrete. The planking and clapboarding are identical to the Roddy Road Bridge. The bridge deck wooden stringers were replaced with steel in 1929-1930 to strengthen the deck. This bridge was burned by an arsonist in 1991, but was reconstructed using five of the original beams, and the re-milled king posts and knee braces. Some of the smaller components which were also reused show signs of charring from the fire.
The Roddy Road, Loys Station, and Utica Bridges are three of only eight remaining covered bridges in the state of Maryland. Until the introduction of the steel truss bridge in the mid 19th century, most of the crossings in the county were wood truss structures, later covered for protection from the elements. At least 52 such structures once graced the landscape of the state; but storms, fires, and progress have claimed almost all of them. Preservation of the remaining structures as examples of 19th century bridge engineering techniques is extremely important to the history of Frederick County and the state of Maryland. The three bridges provide a good comparative study of wood bridge truss techniques, as each displays a different truss design. The Loys Station Bridge is significant as a multiple king post structure.