Ohio was home to over 4,000 covered bridges. As of 2010, only 142 bridges remained. Touring these historic bridges is a neat way to explore rural Ohio. Plus, they are very photogenic!
Why Build Covered Bridges?
Covered bridges are roofed and sided timber-truss bridges. The primary reason is to protect the structure from weather. Uncovered wooden bridges have a 10 to 15-year lifespan. The covered bridges have been around for more than 100 years!
Early bridge builders aligned bridges at right angles to water flow. Many have sharp curves that lead into the entrance. These curves created problems for motorists. Occasionally, the covers were cut back for drivers. You’ll see this on Brubaker Bridge in Prebles County.
Hamilton County is home to one covered bridge. Jediah Hill/Groff Mill was built in 1850. This bridge is still open to traffic. It is on Covered Bridge Road outside Mount Healthy.
Butler County is home to two covered bridges. State Line /Bebb Park Bridge is in Governor Bebb Park in Okeana. The bridge, built in 1867/68, was part of a 2 span bridge over the Miami River. It was moved west of Oxford to cross Indian Creek on Fairfield Road. In 1966, it was relocated to the park.
Black/ Pughs Mill was built in 1869. It crosses Four Mile (Talawanda) Creek at 5401 Corso Road in Oxford. It earned the “Black” name to distinguish it from a white bridge downstream. It is one of Ohio’s longest covered bridges. Covered bridge enthusiasts visit because it uses two different truss types. It was restored in 2000.
Preble County, north of Butler County, is home to six covered bridges and a bit of bridge controversy. Heuston Woods is a thoroughly modern covered bridge, built in 2012, and the source of controversy. Located at 7667 Camden College Corner Road in College Corner, this bridge has a pedestrian walkway. The original bridge was a non-covered metal bridge built in 1929. The controversy surrounds the destruction of this historic bridge and replacement by a covered bridge.
Renowned covered bridge builder Everett S Sherman built Harshman in 1894. It crosses Four Mile Creek off Concord Fairhaven Road near Concord Church. Stone for the foundations came from Stoney Point Quarry south of the bridge.
Roberts, 315 S Beech in Eaton, is Ohio’s oldest covered bridge. It is America’s second oldest covered bridge. Roberts is a dual wagon-way bridge, the last in Ohio, and one of only six. Roberts also has the distinction of being the oldest “double barreled” bridge. Every bridge has a specific type of truss and Roberts is the last Ohio example of a Burr truss.
Christman crosses Seven Mile Creek on Eaton-New Hope Road. Everett S Sherman built it in 1895. Christman was constructed for about $4,250. In 2007, the bridge was restored for $331,094.
Brubaker is another example of Sherman’s work. Constructed in 1887, it was restored in 2005. It crosses Sandy Run off Brubaker Road (TR 328). It is open to one-lane traffic.
Dixon’s Branch Covered Bridge was built in 1887 to cross Dixon’s Branch on Concord Road. In 1963, the bridge lost its roof to a windstorm. It now serves as a shelter in the Lewisburg Community Park at 100 Tillman Lane.
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