I have long had a fixation on old bridges, from early childhood it's been an near obsession. Maybe I'm genetically disposed to this - my great grandfather Joseph Downs was a prominent bridge builder/contractor in Ohio. Luckily my four year old son shares this obsession. Throw in a compelling ghost story surrounding this span and we were off on one our father son road trips last weekend.
I had first read about and seen photos of this once important span which linked Annapolis to Washington DC as it crosses the Pautuxent River just north of Bowie Maryland. This was an important crossing point from the 18th Century and in 1912 a single-span steel Pratt truss bridge was erected to connect Prince George's and Anne Arundel Counties. This is one of two surviving early truss bridges in Prince George's County.
The stories are many, from the "goat boy" sightings, the severed hand that was left after a terrible accident to the most prominent one that details a story of a young unmarried teen-aged girl that became pregnant. Afraid to tell her parents, the girl took her newborn baby and dropped it over the side of the bridge. Realizing what she had done, the girl jumped from the bridge and fell to her own death. According to many eyewitnesses, one can see the woman standing in the middle of the bridge, frightening drivers. According to folklore or fakelore, this is a story that is oft repeated all over the country. The flip side of this is an audible baby crying.
Directions - Davidsonville, Maryland 21035
17800 block Governors Bridge Road
Bowie MD 20715