Place:Richardsmere, Cecil, Maryland, United States

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NameRichardsmere
TypeInhabited place
Coordinates39.683°N 76.117°W
Located inCecil, Maryland, United States

Richardsmere' is an inhabited place, originally known as "Porter's Bridge", named after the covered bridge constructed by Stephen Porter in the late 1700's to service customers using his mill on the Octoraro Creek in Cecil County MD.[1] The mill was later operated by H.S. McGraw; the above illustration dates to this period c 1877. In 1885 the bridge was replaced by a wrought iron bridge using the same abutments as the original covered bridge. Originally, US 1 crossed the Octoraro using this bridge, but this route was moved slightly north bypassing Richardsmere. The bridge remained intact, if unused, for a number of years, but was eventually washed away in a flood of the Octoraro. The original abutments can still be seen, though nothing else remains of the bridge.

From: Porters Bridge in Richardsmere:

[Porter's Bridge] is located in a village called Richardsmere, initially settled in the nineteenth century as “Porters Bridge” to accord with the name for the covered wooden structure over Octoraro Creek located north of the core of the settlement. This crossing of the Octoraro Creek was established at a very early date to provide access to Stephen Porter's Mill. This mill, the sole structure existing at that time, is shown on Map 6 of the Commis-sioner's Road Book of the Western Portion of Maryland, 1792. The Commissioners acted on the need to establish a public road in the May 12, 1794 order of the Cecil County Levy Court. The order re-quired the laying out of a "Publick Road from Brick MeetingHouse in East Nottingham to Stephen Porters Mill on the Octoraro Creek". This road was shown on map 7 of the Commissioner's Road Book. By 1858 about one half dozen struc-tures had been built on the opposite side of Octoraro Creek from Porter's (later Magraw's) Mill, consti-tuting the small commu-nity of Porters Bridge. It was shown in the rendering of the "Mill and Farm Property of H. S. Magraw, Esquire" in the 1877 atlas. Three buildings owned by Magraw (residence, grist mill and an unidentified structure) on the west side, and a "Building Association" structure, a blacksmith shop, saw mill and dwellings owned by J. Fortune, J. Coats, A. Moore, N. Barnett, and J. G. Richards on the east side. The covered bridge, re-placed in 1885 by the exist-ing truss struc-ture, was shown in the 1877 Lake, Griffing and Stephenson Atlas of Cecil County and provided access between Magraw's Mill and house on the west side of Octoraro Creek with these other structures.
  1. Maryland Covered Bridges gives the construction date as 1858; However, the miller Stephen Porter was active in the later half of the 18th Century, and the covered bridge was probably built well before 1858.
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