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Monday, May 14, 2018

The Historic Clark's Ferry Bridge in Dauphin County

Historic Clark's Ferry Bridge in Dauphin County Pennsylvania
For the past 8 years we've been road tripping it across Pennsylvania in search of our state's history. One way to learn about the history of our state is to seek out the old historical markers and memorial plaques. Thousands of people walk by them or drive by them every day and don't notice them. We're trying to change that by giving them the attention that they deserve here on our travel blog.

The historical marker location: The marker is located near Duncannon, in Dauphin County. You'll find it at the intersection of William Penn Highway (U.S. 22/322) and County Road 849. Duncannon is in Perry County, but the marker is in Dauphin County. You'll find it not far from the county line.
Clark's Ferry Bridge Historical Marker in Dauphin County Pennsylvania

Clark's Ferry Bridge Company

William Jennings - President
Christian W. Lynch - Vice-president
William Wills - Secretary
Patrick F. Duncan - Treasurer
Frank M. Masters - Chief Engineer
Ralph Modjeski - Consulting Engineer
Paul P. Cret - Consulting Architect
The Vang Const. Co. - Contractors
(Around relief artwork of the original bridge)
The original structure at this location
built 1828-29 replaced 1924-25

Constructed and operated as a public utility in accordance with the laws of the commonwealth and dedicated to the people for their convenience and use.
Clark's Ferry and Susquehanna River in Dauphin County Pennsylvania

The earliest means of transportation over the Susquehanna River near this location was a ferry owned and operated by Robert Clark, a pioneer. In 1828-29 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania replaced the ferry with a dam and a highway Toll Bridge supporting a towing-path which was constructed and operated as a part of the State's canal system, for the purpose of transporting canal boats across the river.

In 1857 the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania sold its entire canal system to the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, which company in 1867 organized and transferred this property to the Pennsylvania Canal Company which was operated as a part of the Pennsylvania Railroad Transportation System.

In 1915 the Pennsylvania Canal Company having abandoned the canal operation, then entirely replaced by the railroad system, sold the bridge to the present owner, The Clark's Ferry Bridge Company.

In 1924-25, to meet the increasing demands of motor vehicular traffic, the Clark's Ferry Bridge Company replaced the original structure with the bridge.
Clark's Ferry Tavern in Duncannon Pennsylvania

For those of you who are history buffs, you may be interested in learning about the Clark's Ferry Tavern which is within walking distance of the bridge. The tavern sits in Duncannon (Perry County)  It was built in 1790 and is still standing today.

The Tavern is steep in history and during the early years it served as a stage coach stop, inn for tired and hungry travelers, the town's post office and eventually it served as a Civil War recruiting office. Back in the early 1900's...travelers would check into the inn while waiting to cross the Susquehanna River. A ferry used to carry these travelers from Clarks Ferry over to Peters Mountain and vice versa.

If you're documenting historical markers and/or Pennsylvania's past history, you'll want to check out both of these historical sites in Dauphin and Perry County.

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