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Covered Bridges of Pennsylvania

Updated on November 7, 2018

A Walk Or Drive Over A Covered Bridge

How many of you have had the opportunity to drive or walk over a wooden covered bridge? Next questions is: How many of you have ever seen a covered bridge or even know what one is? Many young people born and raised in the city may never know what they missed because wooden covered bridges have become just a distant memory of different times.

Old Unused Covered Bridge

Source

Romance Inside The Covered Bridge

Many young courting couples would carve their names or initials on the wooden sides of the bridge.
Many young courting couples would carve their names or initials on the wooden sides of the bridge. | Source

A Gone Forever Era

Covered bridges are a huge part of America's history and bring back good memories of a time when life was simple and carefree. Covered bridges certainly create an urban, country picture like nothing else. A picture of a covered bridge in winter covered with snow and an icy creek beneath it seems to make me want to sing the song "Over the River and Through the Woods to Grandmother's house we go." A horse drawn sleigh completes the picture. We can only wish we still had the opportunity to go on just one sleigh ride over the old covered bridge now, because it is an era that is pretty much gone forever.

At one time, there were approximately fourteen to fifteen hundred covered bridges across the United States. Today, most of those bridges are gone, some swept away with flooding waters and severe storms or they simply became too old and unsafe for heavy cars and trucks. Some of these covered bridges that do remain are at least one hundred and fifty years old. Many states are now trying to save these historical bridges and restore them, because they have become historical landmarks and should be valued by future generations who will otherwise never know the beauty of these bridges.

Pennsylvania was one of the few states who resisted going with the iron bridges when they became popular and continued to build the covered bridges. As a result, in Pennsylvania there are close to two hundred surviving covered bridges still standing. Today, a friend of mine and I drove across one of the few remaining bridges still in use today.

Ramp's Covered Bridge

Ramp's Covered Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Cumberland County, Pa. It is still open to traffic.
Ramp's Covered Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Cumberland County, Pa. It is still open to traffic. | Source

Sign At End Of Bridge

Sign at End of Bridge which connects two counties
Sign at End of Bridge which connects two counties | Source

Oriental, Pa Covered Bridge Still In Use

Bridge which connects Perry and Synder counties. You can still drive over this one lane bridge.
Bridge which connects Perry and Synder counties. You can still drive over this one lane bridge. | Source

White Rock Covered Bridge

White Rock covered bridge is located in Kirkwood, Colerain Township, Pa. It is about five to six miles from Quarryville, Pa. The bridge was originally built by John Russell in 1847 but was rebuilt in 1884 by Elias McCellen.

Covered Bridge Still In Use Today

The bridge in Oriental, Pa at the far end of Juniata County is still very much used today. We drove over this bridge today and several other vehicles also crossed it while we were there. It is however, a one land bridge, as most wooden, covered bridges are.

Port Royal Covered Bridge

Privately owned and hard to see as the trees have been allowed to cover the bridge.
Privately owned and hard to see as the trees have been allowed to cover the bridge. | Source

Lehman Covered Bridge Port Royal, Pa

The Lehman covered bridge is privately owned but it is still used today. Family that lives on the other side still drive through the bridge and you can walk across the bridge and the other side is great for a nice country walk.

Academia Or Pomeroy Bridge

Known As The Pomeroy Or The Academia Bridge
Known As The Pomeroy Or The Academia Bridge | Source

Over The River And Through The Woods

Pomeroy Academia Bridge

The Pomeroy Bridge is the longest surviving bridge in Pennsylvania and stretches across the Tuscarora Creek. At one time it connected Beale Township and Spruce Hill township. In 1901, heavy rains and melting snow caused massive damage to the bridge, but the bridge did not wash off its foundation. By 1903, the bridge had been repaired and was back in use by the Pennsylvania Highway System till 1962 at which time it was declared to be unsafe and a new concrete bridge was built. Plans were to demolish the bridge, but the Juniata Historical Society took responsibility for restoring the bridge. In 2013, the Pomeroy Bridge was 113 years old. Work continues to restore this beautiful bridge.

I am adding a very interesting link that shows the work that has gone into restoring the bridge.

Historic Sachs Bridge In Gettysburg

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania claims one of the most historic covered bridges in Pennsylvania or for that matter in the entire nation. Sachs Bridge was built sometime between 1852 and 1854 by David Stone. It crosses the Marsh Creek, in Adams County, for one hundred feet and is fifteen feet wide. This bridge's claim to fame is that during the battle of Gettysburg both the Union Army and the Confederate Army used this bridge. General Robert E. Lee and his confederate troops retreated from Gettysburg by way of Sachs Bridge.

It is said that this bridge is haunted because of the three deserters who were hung from the one end of the bridge. It is also near the hospital that was used after the Battle of Gettysburg.

The Sachs Bridge was closed to traffic in 1968 and in either 1996 or 1997 heavy rains washed the bridge off its foundation and moved it downstream. It has since been taken over by the Gettysburg Preservation Association and repaired.

Please Help To Preserve Our Historical Bridges

It takes time, money and volunteers to save our wooden covered bridges but they are worth the time and effort. These covered bridges have a timeless beauty, wonderful charm and great engineering structures. If you have the time, money, energy and knowledge to help save our bridges please consider helping.

Sachs Covered Bridge In Gettysburg, Pa

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