The Carpenter’s Ford Bridge is a closed through truss bridge that carries Craig Shop Road over the Middle River in Augusta County, Virginia.
The Carpenter’s Ford Bridge, located in Augusta County, Virginia, is a closed Pratt through truss structure that supports Craig Shop Road over the Middle River.
The area around the bridge was initially part of land patents granted to David Logan in 1740 and George Rankin in 1747. 1 By 1748, Logan sold his portion on the southeast side of the Middle River to Robert Craig, leading to the establishment of the Bunker Hill Plantation after the American Revolution. Between 1865 and 1885, a ford was developed over the Middle River near John Will Carpenter’s farm. This ford was a segment of a newly constructed road linking the Staunton-New Hope Road with the Valley Turnpike.
On June 22, 1903, Carpenter and fellow citizens petitioned the Augusta County Court for a bridge over the Middle River at Carpenter’s Ford. 1 This request was directed to the Road Board of the Middle River District. By July 30, the board recommended the construction of the bridge with a budget not exceeding $4,500. The petitioners were to cover a quarter of the costs, with the county covering the rest. The board approved the bridge proposal on August 1.
Construction started swiftly on the bridge’s substructure. 1 By January 1904, the superstructure, delivered by the Brackett Bridge Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, was delivered and fully erected by June.
Once the bridge was finished, Carpenter bought the Bunker Hill Farm, located on the southeast side of the river, opposite his original farm. 1 This bridge allowed him seamless access to both properties. Furthermore, the bridge offered local farmers two transportation options for their goods: they could head west to Mt. Sidney, a station on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s Valley Division, or east to the Patterson Station on the Shenandoah Valley Railroad. This bridge’s construction coincided with the rise of automobiles and the Virginia Good Roads Movement, which sought legislative approval for road taxes to fund county road enhancements.
In October 2019, the Carpenter’s Ford Bridge was closed to traffic after routine inspections showed significant deterioration of the structure. 2
The following photographs are from Rob Tucher for the Historic American Engineering Record.
- State: Virginia
- Route: Virginia Route 775 (Craig Shop Road)
- Type: Pratt Through Truss
- Status: Abandoned / Closed
- Total Length: 142'
- Deck Width: 11.2'
- Above Vertical Clearance: 16.8'