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Philadelphia & Reading - Milton Bridge (1871)


Vintage Postcard of P and RRR Bridge Over Susquehanna River in Milton PA

Photo uploaded by Art S


View this photo at ebay.com

BH Photo #352306



Not sure is this bridge was on the same alignment as the present RR bridge through Milton.


Lost Whipple through truss bridge over Susquehanna River on Philadelphia & Reading RR
Milton, Union County, Pennsylvania
No longer exists
- Philadelphia & Reading Rail Road (1833-1896) (P&R)
Four span pin connected Whipple through truss (additional spans probable)
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.08209, -76.71560   (decimal degrees)
41°04'56" N, 76°42'56" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
18/355891/4549287 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 71920 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 18, 2019: Updated by Luke: Added build & loss dates
  • November 18, 2019: New photo from Ben Williams
  • April 23, 2016: Added by ArtS


  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com
  • Ben Williams
  • Luke


Philadelphia & Reading - Milton Bridge (1st)
Posted September 27, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Nice find Luke!

However, this means Nathan may need to do some shuffling.

The article claims the 1871 span was washed away in floods in 1889 (later in the article, there's mention of the 1889 flood being the Johnstown Flood, this is incorrect as Milton isn't in the Johnston flood path). A temporary trestle was quickly erected until the replacement span was erected in 1890. I believe the Phoenix Column trusses are from 1890. The article says the 1890 bridge was washed out in 1894, however I suspect it was a partial wash out or minor damage and the 1890 trusses remained in service until the 1915ish upgrade.

I don't know who built the 1871 bridge but I'm confident that the Phoenix Column bridge pictured isn't it (the details are wrong for 1871 but correct for 1890).

It would be interesting if Murray, Dougal & Co. built the bridge considering they were in town but I suspect they didn't start building bridges until 1873 or 1874.


Art S.

PS. Here is a blog post about the bridges with additional info but, also with some inaccuracies: https://susquehannavalley.blogspot.com/2020/04/the-bridges-o...

Philadelphia & Reading - Milton Bridge (1st)
Posted September 27, 2021, by Luke
Philadelphia & Reading - Milton Bridge (1st)
Posted September 27, 2021, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Does anyone know when this bridge was built? It had the built date entered wrong (187).