Friday, April 13, 2018

A Few B&O Culverts (Kiamensi and Casho Mill)

"A road near Kiamensi Mill"
When we think of pieces of railroad engineering, what usually comes to mind are the big bridges spanning rivers or creeks. Those are the big, flashy ones, but more numerous are the smaller tunnels and culverts put in place to allow small roads and waterways to pass under the tracks. Here we have two examples of such, one from Mill Creek Hundred and the other from White Clay Creek Hundred just outside of Newark. Both are about 135 years old, their purposes long since made obsolete, but still in pretty darn good condition.

The first one can be seen in the blue (cyanotype) photograph here, taken by the B&O during an 1891 survey of the line. It only says that it is a road near the Kiamensi Mill. There are actually two possible locations for this tunnel. The winner, as far as I know, is yet to be determined. The first possibility (and the one I originally assumed to be correct) is on the east side of Red Clay Creek, across from the former site of the mill. It was actually an extension of what's now Kiamensi Avenue, running from Newport Road (where the Judy Johnson House and the Kings Assembly of God (formerly St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church) are) all the way to Kiamensi Road. The full extent of the road can be seen in the 1893 map below. I have not seen this underpass myself, but I am told it is still there. It's filled in and very difficult to get to, but still there. It's very possible that the 1891 shot is of this structure.