Frederick, Maryland, 1912: Jug Bridge Over the Monocacy River

Jug Bridge Frederick

Motorcyclist waving as he crosses Jug Bridge. Photo by Lewis Reed, ca. 1912

The Jug Bridge was built over the Monacacy River in 1808 at a location a few miles east of Frederick, Maryland. The bridge consisted of two 65-foot spans. The bridge’s name derived from a stone bottle that was situated at the northeastern end of the bridge. There was a legend that an Irish mason accidentally sealed a jug of whiskey inside the stone bottle. Today, the stone bottle sits in a roadside park west of the river.

The bridge collapsed suddenly on March 3, 1942, creating a nightmarish detour for through traffic. A replacement bridge was opened just south of the jug bridge. Click the photos to get a better look at the huge demijohn that guards the entrance.

Jug Bridge Frederick

Motorcyclists crossing Jug Bridge. Photo by Lewis Reed, ca. 1912

With the new alignment across the Monacacy River, the stone bottle was dismantled and moved to an interpretive park high on the western bank of river valley. By the way, the bottle was empty – there was no jug of whiskey.

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About Reed Brothers

I am a co-owner of the former Reed Brothers Dodge in Rockville, Maryland. Lewis Reed, the founder of Reed Brothers Dodge was my grandfather. We were a family-owned and operated car dealership in Rockville for almost a century. I served in the United States Air Force for 30 years before retiring in the top enlisted grade of Chief Master Sergeant in July 2006. In 2016, I received the Arthur M. Wagman Award for Historic Preservation Communication from Peerless Rockville for documenting the history of Reed Brothers Dodge in both blog and book format. This distinguished honor recognizes outstanding achievement by writers, educators, and historians whose work has heightened public awareness of Rockville’s architectural and cultural heritage, growth and development.

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