Georgetown Time Machine: Aqueduct Remains

This week on Georgetown Time Machine, GM returns to this fantastic archive of rail photos of the Georgetown Branch. Today’s photo is from the Virginia side of the river just west of the Key Bridge.

The photo is from August 1962. The most notable feature of the shot are the four bridge abutments that straddle the river. They are from the Aqueduct Bridge, which immediately preceded the Key Bridge as the route across the river at Georgetown. Built in 1843, the bridge was what its name suggested, an aqueduct. It connected the C & O Canal to the Alexandria Canal:

The bridge was substantially modified in 1889 to allow for foot and wheel traffic:

Here’s a good view of the abutments from the 1920s or 30s:

The bridge was torn down in 1933 after Key Bridge made it redundant:

The abutments remained until they were demolished with dynamite in 1962 months after today’s photo. One abutment was left, and remains to this day close the Virginia shore.

The one other notable thing about this photo is that it shows the Car Barn before the penthouse floor was added.

The photo is also just a year after the historic Dempsey’s Boathouse burned down, which would have been on the left edge of the photo.

 

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