Thomas Viaduct

The Thomas Viaduct spans the Patapsco River and Patapsco Valley between Relay and Elkridge, Maryland, USA. It was commissioned by the Ohio Railroad. At its completion, the Thomas Viaduct was the largest railroad bridge in the United States and the country's first multi-span masonry railroad bridge to be built on a curve, it remains the world's oldest multiple arched stone railroad bridge. In 1964, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark. In 2010, the bridge designated as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Civil Engineers; the viaduct is now owned and operated by CSX Transportation and still in use today, making it one of the oldest railroad bridges still in service. This Roman-arch stone bridge is divided into eight spans, it was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, II B&O's assistant engineer and its chief engineer. The main design problem to overcome was that of constructing such a large bridge on a curve; the design called for several variations in span and pier widths between the opposite sides of the structure.

This problem was solved by having the lateral pier faces laid out on radial lines, making the piers wedge-shaped and fitted to the 4-degree curve. The viaduct was built by John McCartney of Ohio, who received the contract after completing the Patterson Viaduct. Caspar Wever, the railroad's chief of construction, supervised the work; the span of the viaduct is 612 feet long. The width at the top of the spandrel wall copings is 26 feet 4 inches; the bridge is constructed using a rough-dressed Maryland granite ashlar from Patapsco River quarries, known as Woodstock granite. A wooden-floored walkway built for pedestrian and railway employee use is 4 feet wide and supported by cast iron brackets and edged with ornamental cast iron railings; the viaduct cost $142,236.51, equal to $3,525,171 today. The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad was one of the oldest railroads in the United States. Construction began on July 4, 1828, with the original route following the upper branch of the Patapsco River which led west to Ellicott's Mills from the lower Patapsco, the "Basin" at downtown Baltimore and the Baltimore Harbor and Port of the lower river estuary leading southeast 15 miles to flow into the Chesapeake Bay.

In 1835 the Washington Branch was constructed, including the Thomas Viaduct. This new line branched at Relay, the site of a former post road hotel and changing point for stage horses; the 1830s Relay House served as a hotel until it was replaced by the $50,078.41 Viaduct Hotel in 1872. The Gothic combination railroad station and hotel operated until 1938 and was torn down in 1950; when the Thomas Viaduct was completed, a 15-foot obelisk with the names of the builder, directors of the railroad, the architect and others associated with the viaduct was erected at the east end in Relay, by builder John McCartney. On one side the monument reads: The Thomas Viaduct, Commenced July 4, 1833 Finished, July 4, 1835, he celebrated the completed work by having his men kneel on the deck of the viaduct while mock "baptizing" them with a pint of whiskey. Until after the American Civil War, the B&O was the only railroad into Washington, D. C. thus the Thomas Viaduct was essential for supply trains to reach the capital of the Union during that conflict.

To prevent sabotage, the bridge was guarded by Union troops stationed along its length. In 1929, extensive mortar work on the masonry was carried out, again in 1937. To counteract deterioration of the masonry, the Thomas Viaduct underwent more cosmetic upgrades in 1938 performed by the B&O Maintenance of Way Department; the work consisted to improve facilities for drainage, relocation of loose arch ring stones and the application of a grout mixture to the stone spandrels filling. The bridge is still indicative of the way in which the B&O track and major structures were put down in the most permanent manner possible. At an unknown date, railing blocks were removed from the north side of the deck and a bracketed walkway added giving more lateral clearance. Little work had been done on the viaduct until the repairs of 1937–1938 which, according to a 1949 report by the Chief Engineer of the B&O, would keep future maintenance to a minimum. From the 1880s to the 1950s, Thomas Viaduct carried B&O's famed Royal Blue Line passenger trains between New York and Washington.

Until the late 1960s, the bridge carried B&O passenger trains traveling to points west of Washington, such as the Capital Limited to Chicago and the National Limited to St. Louis. With the advent of Amtrak on May 1, 1971, B&O ended its passenger train service, except for local Baltimore–Washington commuter trains. In 1986, CSX acquired all of its trackage, including the Thomas Viaduct. Today, MARC's "Camden Line" train service runs daily trains over the Viaduct. See Capital Subdivision. During design and construction, the Thomas Viaduct was nicknamed "Latrobe's Folly" after the designer Benjamin Latrobe II, because at the time many doubted that it could support its own weight. Contrary to these predictions, the Thomas Viaduct survived the great flood of 1868 as well as Hurricane Agnes in 1972, two floods that wiped out the Patapsco Valley and destroyed nearly everything in their path.

James John Hill

James John Hill, known by his alias J. J. Hill, was an English landscape and portrait painter, known for his many rustic paintings and portraits of Lady Burdett-Coutts. James John Hill was born sometime in 1811 in Broad Street, Birmingham to Daniel Hill and Elizabeth Rowlinson, the daughter of a brass founder, he was educated at Hazelwood School, a school founded by the educational reformer Rowland Hill, he attended Joseph Barber's art academy in Great Charles Street, at the time being taught by his son Vincent. His fellow pupils included Thomas Creswick, James Tibbits Willmore, Thomas Baker, Peter Hollins. Having moved to London in 1839, Hill was elected in 1842 a member of the Society of British Artists. There, he became known as a'popular contributor' among his fellow artists, showing off his artwork in a number of their exhibitions across the next forty years, he operated in London, painting many portraits of Lady Burdett-Coutts, a Victorian philanthropist, her many pets. He was a good friend of hers.

His paintings were known to depict girls and boys and their families residing in the countryside, nature being present in all of his artwork, in his career he moved from painting portraits and people to painting landscapes. Most of his landscape paintings were inspired by his visit to Ireland in 1854, he found less success in painting landscapes. In his life, Hill devoted himself to painting landscapes and had a number of his paintings featured in London newspapers, he died on 27 January 1882, aged 71, at Sutton House. Hill had five children altogether, his first child – James John Hill – was born to an unknown mother in 1838, the other four – Daniel, Emily and Alfred – to Harriet Parsons. His eldest son had many children of his own. Hill's brother, Daniel Rowlinson Hill, was an architect based in Birmingham, his cousin was Daniel Rowlinson Ratcliff, a lock and safe manufacturer and an MP. List of British artists Royal Society of British Artists Thomas Baker Lady Burdett-Coutts Thomas Creswick Peter Hollins James Tibbits Willmore

Houghton, Cambridgeshire

Houghton is a village in Cambridgeshire, England. Houghton lies 3 miles east of Huntingdon on the A1123 road, not far south of RAF Wyton; this village lies on the north bank of the River Great Ouse. Houghton is in the civil parish of Wyton. Houghton is situated within Huntingdonshire, a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire as well as being a historic county of England. Houghton was named one of the "Best Places to Live in the east" by The Sunday Times in 2016. Houghton is mentioned in the Domesday Book and described as "Hoctune", it has had a number of serious floods. There used to be an old piece of film footage taken by the Houghton Scout group of the village; the first RAF sortie of the second world war was flown out of RAF Wyton. Houghton is part of the civil parish of Wyton, which has a parish council; the parish council is elected by the residents of the parish who have registered on the electoral roll. A parish council is responsible for providing and maintaining a variety of local services including allotments and a cemetery.

The parish council reviews all planning applications that might affect the parish and makes recommendations to Huntingdonshire District Council, the local planning authority for the parish. The parish council represents the views of the parish on issues such as local transport and the environment; the parish council raises its own tax to pay for these services, known as the parish precept, collected as part of the Council Tax. The parish council has nine councillors and meets every two weeks through the year. Houghton was in the historic and administrative county of Huntingdonshire until 1965. From 1965, the village was part of the new administrative county of Peterborough. In 1974, following the Local Government Act 1972, Houghton became a part of the county of Cambridgeshire; the second tier of local government is Huntingdonshire District Council, a non-metropolitan district of Cambridgeshire and has its headquarters in Huntingdon. Huntingdonshire District Council has 52 councillors representing 29 district wards.

Huntingdonshire District Council collects the council tax, provides services such as building regulations, local planning, environmental health and tourism. Houghton is a part of the district ward of The Hemingfords and is represented on the district council by two councillors. District councillors serve for four-year terms following elections to Huntingdonshire District Council. For Houghton the highest tier of local government is Cambridgeshire County Council which has administration buildings in Cambridge; the county council provides county-wide services such as major road infrastructure and rescue, social services and heritage services. Cambridgeshire County Council consists of 69 councillors representing 60 electoral divisions. Houghton is part of the electoral division of The Hemingfords and Fen Stanton and is represented on the county council by one councillor. At Westminster Houghton is in the parliamentary constituency of Huntingdon, elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.

Houghton is represented in the House of Commons by Jonathan Djanogly. Jonathan Djanogly has represented the constituency since 2001; the previous member of parliament was John Major who represented the constituency between 1983 and 2001. In the period 1801 to 1901 the population of the separate parishes of Houghton and Wyton was recorded every ten years by the UK census. During this time the population was in the range of 467 and 818. From 1901, a census was taken every ten years with the exception of 1941. All population census figures from report Historic Census figures Cambridgeshire to 2011 by Cambridgeshire Insight; the separate parishes of Houghton and Wyton were combined into a single parish in 1935. Part of this parish's area was separated as a new parish of Wyton on the Hill in 2010. In 2011, the parish covered an area of 1,623 acres and so the population density of Houghton and Wyton in 2011 was 716.5 persons per square mile. Houghton Mill is an old watermill owned by the National Trust, still used for demonstrating flour milling.

Houghton's parish Anglican church dates from the Norman era. It is dedicated to St Mary, it now serves as the church for the combined parish of Wyton. Near the church sits a former United Reform Church chapel, converted into a residential retreat centre. At the centre of the village is an area known as the village green, although it is paved; the centrepiece of the green is a thatched clock tower. Adjacent to the tower is a monumental bust of former village resident Potto Brown, a miller and nonconformist philanthropist. On the green are an old water pump and a traditional Red telephone box, it is possible to walk from Houghton to Hemingford Abbots across the flood meadows, to St Ives along the Thicket Path. There is a nature reserve along the Thicket Path known as Houghton Meadows that shows markings of traditional ridge and furrow farming. In the village centre there is a War memorial hall. On Houghton Hill there is a cemetery. There used to be two veterinary poultry research centres, one on Houghton Hill and the other in "The Elms".

There are a number of old houses of interest in the village green and near the playing field. The playing field