Like a competitive sibling not wanting to be outdone, this marker
also has something unusual: it is the only one known with reversed
engravings: Washington on the left, Baltimore on the right.
This order of the engravings makes sense to me. While aboard a
circa 1835 Grasshopper-powered train steaming along at a then-brisk 10 mph,
forward-facing passengers to Washington (left to right in this photo)
could read the left side of the marker and know how far their
Yet, all the other extant stone markers from here to Washington
display the city names in other order: Baltimore on left,
Washington on right! The B&O of that era was too detail-oriented
for the engravings to have been a mistake. I suspect the
surviving mile stones on the way to Washington
were at some later date moved from one side of the tracks to the other.
Speaking of moving, in January 2007 CSX excavated and removed these
markers... the (unconfirmed) rumor is they became gifts to an executive.
I suppose these items are CSX property, and therefore CSX can do with
them as they wish, but I'd rather this unique and historic pair had been
donated to the B&O Museum. In February 2008 I was pleased to hear from
B&O Museum Director Courtney Wilson that indeed CSX did
remove and donate another of these markers to the Museum.