On the Job at Black Bridge
This photo shows a Pennsylvania Railroad construction gang at Bridge No. 59-43 on July 5, 1934. This bridge has long been called Black Bridge; it carries trains over the Codorus Creek as railroad traffic moves between York and Emigsville.
A bridge at this location was originally built in 1848. It was designated Bridge No. 98, when under control of the Northern Central Railway. Once the Pennsylvania Railroad assumed control of bridge maintenance the bridge number was changed to No. 59-43.
My grandfather, Luther S. Smith, and father, Harold L. Smith, worked on Black Bridge when employed by the Pennsylvania Railroad. My grandfather insisted that a photo be taken upon Harold’s first day on the job with the Pennsylvania Railroad; that is the photo shown above. The construction gang front row includes: Paul Smith, City Heckart, Harold Smith and Thed Jacobs. Dad’s writing, on the back of the photo, questioned the two rightmost in the back row, however those identified include: Paul Resh, Frank Zarfoss, Nonemaker, Newcomer, ?, ?.
In 1934, the construction crew was building forms around some of the foundation stonework for their encasement in re-bar and concrete. My grandfather initially worked on Black Bridge very early in his 40-year career with the Pennsylvania Railroad; therefore likely slightly before the time of the following circa 1907 Postcard of Black Bridge.
In this postcard view of Black Bridge, the photographer is standing in Manchester Township and looking across the Codorus Creek into Springettsbury Township. The path under the closest bridge span is the initial Black Bridge Road, which hugged the Manchester Township bank of the Codorus Creek. I remember Dad including this road under Black Bridge in some of the early Sunday drives for our family. That initial Black Bridge Road was abandoned after the new Black Bridge Road was build up on the hill about in the 1980s.
Black Bridge is again readily accessible with the newly opened 2.5-mile Springettsbury Township section of the Heritage Rail Trail County Park. This section extends from the intersection of Route 30 and Loucks Mill Road north along the east side of the Codorus Creek to Mundis Mill Road; then bridging the Codorus into Manchester Township.
In the following photo, the view looks downstream at Black Bridge, with the rail trail passing under the bridge and the Codorus Creek passing under the bridge at the middle left side of the photo. The rail trail is in Springettsbury Township and Manchester Township is shown on the middle left side of the photo. Over a week ago when I walked the rail trail in this area, I could see remnants of the original Black Bridge Road on the opposite side of the creek; now, a week later the rapid growth of vegetation has all but covered the remnants. I’ll have to wait until this winter for a better view.
Related posts include:
- Blackbridge Road went under Black Bridge
- How Black Bridge got its Name
- Pinpointing when Black Bridge got its Name
- Covered Railroad Bridge over the Codorus Creek
- Civil War Era Bridge Types at Black Bridge Location
- Guess the Time Required to Paint an INCREDIBLY Long Bridge
- North Penn Street ‘Drawbridge’ was raised with Muscle Power
- Susquehanna Trail Bridges
- Eagle Nest within 700-feet of Route 30