These 5 images explore Wrightsville’s bridgehead, upstream and down
1. News about the installation of replica lights along the Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge, aka Veterans Memorial Bridge, lured me to the 1930 bridge. I captured these downstream scenes from the bridgehead on the York County side. This photo shows vestiges of the old Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal that ran from this point to Havre de Grace on the Chesapeake Bay. This is some sturdy stonework to survive floods and such since 1840. A look at the upstream side of the bridge below. Also of interest: New throwback lights on Susquehanna River span: ‘This bridge is going to be beautiful’.
2. This birds-eye view, from W.S. Nye’s and John G. Redman’s ‘Farthest East,’shows the canal’s relationship with the bridge. By this time, 1894, a steamer pulled canal boats across to Columbia. The earlier covered bridge that crossed here was equipped with tow paths that allowed mules to pull the boats across.
3. This image shows how the old canal will aid in proposed renovations on the Susquehanna’s west bank. in Wrightsville. The canal is filled with water parallel to the Susquehanna on the downstream side of the bridge. Today, the old canal partially holds water in some places, depending on the weather, as the top photo indicates.
4. The upstream side of the bridgehead shows the bridgeless piers for bridges 2, 3 and 4. Some people relate these old piers to the covered bridge that was torched by Union troops to keep the Confederates from crossing in the Battle of Wrightsville in 1863. That’s true. But two other bridges sat on those piers after that – the last one dismantled for scrap in 1963 and 1964. The bumps atop the bridge supports are grills used to re-enact the burning of the bridge. A story of the six bridges that crossed here and the re-enactment with blazing grills: Absorbing photo and overlay show locations of six Susquehanna River bridges.
5. The last photo was from ground – or maybe bridge level. This a bird’s eye view, courtesy of a York Daily Record photographer, of both the upstream and downstream sides of the bridge. Notice the old canal is available on the downstream side in three sections running parallel to the Susquehanna.
Also of interest: