Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

129-5023 Valley Railroad Bridge

Valley Railroad Bridge
*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 06/18/2009

NRHP Listing Date 08/12/2009

NPS property number 09000617

Constructed in 1873, Valley Railroad Bridge, in Salem, is an imposing limestone structure consisting of a barrel-vaulted tunnel through which Gish Branch flows surmounted by a 12-foot arch to carry a railroad bed. The bridge was built for the Valley Railroad, a venture never completed due to failed financing. The 14-mile Gish Branch section was constructed under the supervision of Thomas K. Menifee, who employed Irish immigrants and formerly enslaved African Americans to supplement local labor. Had it been realized, the railroad would have been 113 miles long, uniting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad to the north at Harrisonburg with the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad at Salem. The bridge, which exhibits superior stonework of locally quarried stone, remains in good condition, and provides insight into railroad design and construction during the late 19th century.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated April 4, 2018