The 100th anniversary of the construction of the Talbot Avenue bridge in Lyttonsville will be marked by a celebration from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22 at Talbot and Fourth avenues.

Built in 1918 of wood and steel, the bridge connected Lyttonsville, a historically African-American community, to the rest of Silver Spring. At the time, the area was racially segregated and African-Americans couldn’t live in communities like North Woodside, which is on the other side of the bridge.

The celebration will include music, storytelling, a pop-up museum with exhibits about the bridge’s history, drumming and a children’s art show, among other activities.

Rev. Ella Redfield, a former Lyttonsville resident and the founding pastor of the New Creation Baptist Church, will emcee the centennial celebration. Scheduled speakers are:

  • Loretta Argrett, a retired U.S. Justice Department attorney who will speak on “Shared Values”
  • David Cox, president of the North Woodside-Montgomery Hills Citizens Association and speaking on behalf of the neighborhood, on “Connection, Cooperation and Harmony”
  • Storyteller David Olawuyi Fakunle, Ph.D.will perform a libation ceremony to honor the ancestors, and
  • Former Lyttonsville residents Robin Redfield and Raymond Tyson will speak about community and the bridge.

In addition, County Executive Isiah Leggett will present a proclamation declaring Sept. 22, 2018 as Talbot Avenue Bridge Day.

The scheduled musical performers are:

The bridge was closed to vehicular traffic last year due to safety concerns and is scheduled to be demolished to make way for the Purple Line. However, it will be memorialized as part of a public art project at the Lyttonsville Purple Line station.

Additional information about the bridge and the centennial celebration is available on its website.

Talbot Avenue Bridge in 2016. Photo by David Rotenstein.

Mike Diegel