The surviving arch, pre-footbridge, was looking a bit weary by 1999.
It is here the railroad leaves Baltimore County for the first
time and enters Howard County. It does so in order to switch
to the opposite bank of the Patapsco. The next few miles of
the river were (and still are) lined with various mills
originally sited to take advantage of free water power.
Prior to the construction of the railroad, all the
mills were on the Baltimore County side of the river. They
were situated so as to facilitate the transportation of their
products to the port of Baltimore: by being on the Baltimore
side to begin with, they would not have to haul the finished
goods across the river.
Since the mill buildings occupied the Baltimore bank of the
Patapsco, the B&O decided to cross the river and build on
the opposite bank. One consequence was that to connect a
mill to the railroad, a bridge would need to be built across
The Ellicott brothers immediately recognized the importance
of the railroad, and in exchange for land, convinced the
B&O to build a bridge to their mill first. Records indicate
the bridge was in place when the railroad began service in
May 1830. A bridge (of newer construction) still exists at
the site, and is pictured later in this tour.