1 vote

Chain Bridge (Sixth)


Old Chain Bridge

Sixth bridge at this location, lost to flooding 1870.

Photo submitted by Craig Philpott in July 2012

License: Released into public domain


View photos at Library of Congress

BH Photo #236085


Sixth bridge at this location, derives its name from the third bridge, a chain suspension bridge. First bridge built by Timothy Palmer for Georgetown Bridge Co., wooden covered bridge opened 1797, rotted and collapsed 1804. Rebuilt by Georgetown Bridge Co. in kind, washed away by flood after six months. Third bridge opened 1810, chain suspension span 136' long, 15' wide designed by Judge James E. Finley of Uniontown, PA, swept away by flood 1812; fourth span damaged 1815 by floods; fifth span built 1840 and also destroyed by flooding. Sixth bridge wooden covered span of seven spans, Howe truss with arches, uncovered during Civil War to prevent arson, washed out 1870.


Lost Howe through truss bridge over Potomac River and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal on Chain Bridge Road
Washington, District of Columbia, and Arlington County, Virginia
Destroyed by flooding
Lost to flooding 1870
Howe through truss with Arch elements
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.92998, -77.11408   (decimal degrees)
38°55'48" N, 77°06'51" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/316748/4311131 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Washington West
Inventory number
BH 52989 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 4, 2014: Photo imported by Fmiser
  • July 25, 2012: Updated by Craig Philpott: Added category "Wooden deck"

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