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Maryland's National Register Properties

Photo credit: Orlando Ridout V, 11/1983
Jericho Covered Bridge
Inventory No.: BA-361, HA-438
Other Name(s): Jerusalem Covered Bridge
Date Listed: 9/13/1978
Location: Jericho Road over Little Gunpowder Falls, Kingsville, Baltimore County, Harford County
Category: Structure
Period/Date of Construction: 1865
Architect/Builder: Designer: Thomas F. Forsyth
Description: Constructed in 1865, the Jericho Covered Bridge carries Franklinville Road (formerly Jericho Road) across the Little Gunpowder Falls. It is a Burr arch through truss, named for the inventor of the support design, Theodore Burr of Pennsylvania. Burr began to develop the style in 1803 and patented it in 1804. He later practiced bridge building in Maryland, constructing a notable span over the Susquehanna at Port Deposit. In Burr's technique a series of king-post trusses was combined with a long wooden arch, a mixture that resulted in a stronger bridge. Single king posts had been used since the Middle Ages for short crossings. The pioneering and innovative bridge builders of the 19th century learned that it was possible to combine a series of structural triangles, king posts or queen posts, into a unified span. Jericho Covered Bridge was built some 61 years after the Burr truss was invented. It is 87'-6" long in its truss portion with an additional 6' of length devoted to the overhanging entrance roofing at each end, making a maximum length of 99'-6". The bridge flooring is 15' above river level. Internal width is 17', with 14'-10" clear road width. Overhead clearance is 12'-4" inches at the centerline of the roadway and 10' at the curb line. Functionally, each of the two trusses consists of 10 king-post panels, including the half-panels at each end. Four wooden arches are bolted to the upright members of the multiple king-post system, two arches on each side of the roadway, one arch on each side of each truss. Both trusses and arches rest on stone-masonry abutments. Renovations were made to the original bridge in 1937 and 1982. Significance: While not one of the engineering marvels of its class, the Jericho Covered Bridge is the last such span in either Baltimore or Harford Counties, and its basic structure is an authentic survival of the 19th century horse-drawn era.


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