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Timber Bridges:
Covered and Uncovered
The
team of
Henry C.
Peden,
Jr. (l)
and
Jack L.
Shagena,
Jr.(r) just
released
another book in their Harford County's
Rural History Series: Timber Bridges:
Covered and Uncovered.
This 170-page,
8.5 x 11 inches paperback features a
picture of the Jericho Road Covered
Bridge on the cover. But that's only one
of the many wooden bridges discussed in
this volume.
Through careful research, Jack and Henry
are able to trace the development of
Harford County transportation from
waterways to Native American trails to
roads. When early roads needed to cross a
stream, timber was often the material used
for construction. They explain how wooden
piles were driven into the ground in
low-lying areas to support bridges, while
rocky terrain demanded a different
construction technique: timber trusses.
From fords to covered bridges, there's lots
of fascinating information in Timber Bridges.
But how did this duo begin writing
together? According to Henry: "We met
accidentally in the
Historical Society
one
day. We struck up a conversation and
decided to do a Bulletin on tinsmithing.
That was the beginning, but we kept
coming up with topics. Though the books
we're writing are about Harford County,
we go overboard! The barn-building
technology we explain in The Lofty Barn
a Farmer's Castle
or the blacksmith
techniques in Under the Spreading
Chestnut Tree: The Village Blacksmith
in Rural America
would apply to
anywhere in America."
"We're both historians, and do research
and writing for the books," Henry added.
"But I tend to focus on the human side
of things and Jack often focuses on
the engineering."
Which seems logical, since Henry Peden,
the author of 140 books, is a retired
administrator with
Bethlehem Steel
and
former research director with
Family Line
Publications
who's known for his
genealogical expertise.
Jack Shagena, a retired aerospace electronic
engineer who worked for
Bendix,
later
Allied Signal,
is also a well-published
author. He's written more than a dozen
historical books including: Bel Air Roller
Mills, Eden Mill An Illustrated
History, Jerusalem A Preserved Mill
Village,
and Harford Glen An Outdoor
Classroom & Preserve.
His engineering
expertise is evident in his own books
and in the Harford County's Rural
History Series.
When asked about that first meeting, Jack
said: "That day in the
Historical Society,
Henry and I basically discussed what was
needed. We decided it was time for
another history book on Harford County.
But there's so much information that one
book wasn't enough. Timber Bridges is
our seventh book, we've got two more
coming out this year, and plans for more
after that. When we finish a book, we just
move onto another."
Timber Bridges and many other books by
Jack L. Shagena, Jr. and Henry C. Peden,
Jr. are available at the
Harford Historical
Society.
The Writers Block is written by Vonnie Winslow
Crist, Editor of "The Gunpowder Review" and
author of books and eBooks. Visit her at
www.vonniewinslowcrist.com or
www.vonniewinslowcrist.wordpress.com
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www.harfordsheart.com
by vonnie winslow crist
HHT-030-01 May/June 10:harford'sheart winter08 4/20/10 11:27 PM Page 12