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Visual Evidence 

Image 1: Tarpeian Rock, ca. 1830

Tarpeian Rock, ca. 1830 

Building the railroad up the Patapsco River Valley was difficult and dangerous. Work constructing two tracks through and west of Ellicott City resulted in a prominent feature known as Tarpeian Rock. It was removed in the late19th century and no longer exists. (The spelling of “Tarpeian” varies; some sources use “Tarpean”. Either spelling is acceptable.)


Questions for Image 1:
  1. Why do you think the railroad left Tarpeian Rock in place for so many years?
  2. Describe the scene.  What does it tell you about early railroad construction and travel?
  3. Walking by rails is extremely dangerous and never recommended, why do you think these people are doing this?
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