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August 22, 2013

Casselman River Bridge to Celebrate Bicentennial

by Martha
Casselman River Bridge Photo by Lori Jenkins

Casselman River Bridge Photo by Lori Jenkins

When: September 20-22
Where: Casselman River Bridge State Park, 10240 National Pike, Grantsville
Who: Open to the Public
Contact: 301-387-4386
Cost: Free (Meals extra)
 

Spanning the Casselman River and supporting 200 years of hooves, boots, sleigh runners and wheels of every type, the Casselman River Bridge will soon begin its third century on the National Road in Grantsville. In celebration of this milestone, the bridge will be the focal point of a three-day bicentennial event packed with fun, food and festivities.

Friday:

The Casselman River Bridge Bicentennial will begin with a kick-off dinner buffet at Penn Alps Restaurant on Friday at 6 p.m., during which local artist Mark Stutzman will unveil his commemorative painting featuring the iconic structure and a unique, historical interpretation of the surrounding Little Crossings community. Stutzman is most famous for his illustration of the 1993 Elvis Presley postage stamp. He has been commissioned by such clients as McDonald’s, DC Comics, and Entertainment Weekly. Autographed prints of his latest painting will be available for purchase. The dinner buffet will be $25, tax and tip included. Kids 5 and under eat for free.

Saturday:

The celebration will continue with a brunch buffet at The Casselman Inn on Saturday at 10 a.m., featuring a presentation by multi-award-winning historian, Albert Feldstein. Feldstein has successfully published more than 30 books, prints, videotapes and DVDs depicting the history of Western Maryland and West Virginia. Over the past 25 years he has given hundreds of presentations throughout Maryland and adjoining states, promoting an awareness of and appreciation for the region’s past. The brunch buffet will be $14, tax and tip included.

Advance tickets for the dinner and/or brunch are available for purchase online at visitdeepcreek.com/pages/CasselmanBridgeBicentennial.

After the feast, a living history parade will feature the many forms of transportation that have crossed over the Casselman River Bridge during its 200 years of service. The parade will travel from The Casselman Inn on Old Route 40 to the State Park. Several historic vehicles will remain on display at the park afterward.

On the east side of the Casselman River Bridge, the Spruce Forest Artisan Village will host a Plein Air art event, in which artists will be painting in the outdoors and competing for prizes. Artists will be painting and selling their original artworks at the village throughout the weekend.

Sunday:

Festivities will continue with a performance Sunday by the award-winning Matthew Dodd, who specializes in historical songs and stories. Dodd’s show, Songs and Stories of the American Road at the Grantsville Town Park, will feature covered wagon songs, such as Cumberland Gap; railroad songs such as Wabash Cannonball; songs from the early 1900s like In My Merry Oldsmobile; and car songs of the 1950s including the Beach Boys’ Fun, Fun, Fun.

Other weekend events include an Old-Time Jam, living history presentations and reenactments, children’s activities, and a formal ribbon-cutting ceremony. For a complete schedule of events call 301-387-4386 or click here for a printable brochure.

All events and activities will be free of charge unless otherwise noted. Due to lot size, attendees are asked to park at the Grantsville Town Park on Miller Street. Free shuttle services will be provided from the town park to all activities and attractions on Saturday. Food and refreshments will be available for purchase on Saturday and Sunday, with services provided by the Grantsville Lions Club and Here at Home.

Built in 1813, the Casselman River Bridge is one of the oldest surviving bridges in the nation. At the time of its construction, it was the longest single-span stone-arch bridge in the United States. Today the bridge is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and serves as a picturesque relic of Maryland’s early transportation history.

The Casselman River Bridge Bicentennial event is being planned and funded by a collaboration of organizations, including the Maryland Park Service, the Town of Grantsville, Mountain Maryland Gateway to the West Heritage Area, the Maryland National Road Association, Spruce Forest Artisan Village, the Garrett County Arts Council, and the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.

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