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Monday, August 31, 2009

The Bridges of Union County

I live in Union County, Ohio, which is known in this area for its covered bridges. We have six wooden covered bridges and one steel truss bridge. I've been wanting to do a photo post about them for a while and when I joined a new photo challenge blog, guess what the first week's theme was....where I live! How convenient is that?!! So, without further ado, I present to you "The Bridges of Union County".

click on any picture to enlarge
First is Spain Creek Bridge which was designed and built by Reuben Partridge in the 1870s. It is the shortest span in U. C. at 64 feet in length. It was rehabilitated in 1988 when they built a bridge inside the covered bridge to support it.



The Pottersburg Bridge, sometimes called the Upper Darby Bridge was also designed by Mr. Partridge in 1868. The bridge was moved from another location in 2006 and renovated by the U. C. Engineer, Steve Stolte to preserve its 1930s appearance. Its windows with awnings are not original, having been added in 1949.  Partridge was a prolific bridge builder, having built more than 100 in Union  and surrounding counties. Most were covered wooden ones, but a few were constructed of iron. The bridge does not cross water, but a dry bed. There is a two-mile trail (which you can see in the photo directly above) to the town of North Lewisburg. We walk here often.



 
The North Lewisburg Road Bridge spans the Big Darby Creek and was constructed in 2006 by the Righter Company. The span is 130 feet long, is two lanes wide and offers beautiful vistas of the Big Darby Scenic River.


 



The Buck Run Road Bridge was constructed in 2006 also by the Righter Company and spans an impressive 160 feet. It is the longest wooden covered bridge in Ohio. We cross this bridge every time we go to Jaye's house.





Below is Bigelow Bridge, also known as Axe Handle Road Bridge, and named in honor of Eliphas Bigelow, a nearby resident. It was built by Reuben Partridge in 1873 and has a span of 114 feet. It has undergone extensive renovation.




Our last historic covered bridge is Culbertson Bridge, also known as Winget Road Bridge. The 100 foot bridge spans Treacle Creek and was built in 1868 by the very busy Mr. Partridge. This bridge is on a dead-end road and features a small "run-around" that is used by heavy trucks and farm machinery except when the creek is flooded. Notice the arched wooden supports inside.




The Streng Road Truss Bridge was built in 1914 and is presumed to have replaced a bridge that was destroyed in the devastating 1913 flood. Union County received special recognition for the renovation of this 200 foot Pratt Steel Truss bridge in 1993. The bridge is officially listed as an Ohio Historic Bridge. This is the only non-covered bridge with this recognition in Union County.

 
 
click to read the inscriptions

And last, but not least, we even have a replica covered wooden bridge at our Allen Township Community Center. This is the park where I often take the grandkids to play. It is a beautiful park and community center.


I hope that you enjoyed the tour and that you will visit the new photo challenge blog called Lens.Us.Together.

34 comments:

Laura Trevey said...

these are truly amazing to see!
thanks for posting and linking to your blog!!

Susan said...

Thank you so much, Laura! It's nice to see you here.

Sandy Nawrot said...

I love covered bridges to look at (scared of actually going on them!). It reminds me of Southern Indiana!

Susan said...

Sandy, I'm actually not afraid of these bridges; in fact, I find them comforting.

Yes, it's a lot like So. Indiana, only flat.

beth said...

amazing bridges....it seems we don't have many around here...or maybe I'm not looking for them...or maybe they are unattractive and don't catch my attention.....

Susan said...

Beth, thanks for coming over! Isn't our new blog fun? I had such a great time this morning on my bridge quest.

Maybe you aren't looking in the right places?

Char said...

beautiful shots - love the bridge loving. the times i've gone to the ones I know, the sun has been too harsh. I need to try again.

all are beautiful shots and I really enjoyed the notes too.

Char said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Susan said...

Char, you don't know how much that means coming from you...photographer extraordinaire!

I LOVE our new blog! It's just what I needed to inspire me. Thank you for starting it.

"love the bridge loving" lol

The Bumbles said...

They are such comforting structures. I think because they are covered and provide shelter - and look like houses. I love coming across them throughout New England. But I do remember seeing them in OH and NY when I lived in both of those states too as a little girl.

Susan said...

Molly, they are comforting, aren't they? We saw quite a few both times we visited New England. We stayed in a B&B on the New Hampshire side of the Cornish Bridge, once the longest wooden covered bridge in the world. It's title was stolen recently by a new one.

Where in Ohio did you live?

CottageGirl said...

You lucky girl, you!!

What beautiful bridges to live by!

We have one not too far away. It is lovely ... just rehabbed ... but not nearly as long and elegant as all of yours!

How romantic -- I picture you as Meryl Streep in your clean house dress and your leading man would be ... George Clooney? Tom Hanks??? Your loving hubby?

Thanks for the momentary respite. I feel better now!

Alaine said...

I adored these when I saw 'The Bridges of Madison County'. I wonder why they're covered?

Cindy said...

beautiful bridge photos! I've always loved covered bridges. Oregon actually has 50 remaining, but at one time there were 450. I've often thought about taking a road trip to see some of them before more disappear.

Love the new photo challenge blog too!

Ruth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ruth said...

Wonderful! Did you drive around especially to find the covered bridges? Or did you happen upon them?

I don't think I've ever seen, let alone driven on, a covered bridge! I wonder what the original purpose was? To be scenic?

The other blog is fun, I am sure you will enjoy that challenge. Yay!

Susan said...

CG, I DO know a few Italian words and can fake an accent...I think there's a new movie in the air! Now, if I can just get Clooney to be the.....actually, Eastwood could reprise his role, but this time as an elderly grandfather, and.......LOL!!!!!

Our county does have a lot of scenic beauty between the corn fields and the soybean fields. :)

Susan said...

Alaine, wasn't that movie great? I cry every time I see it. Meryl Streep makes my heart ache in that parting scene in the truck with her husband. The nuances of emotion in her face are unbelievable.

Here is the answer to your question, taken straight from Wiki:

"Early bridges were often made of wood, especially where it was a plentiful resource. Wooden bridges tended to deteriorate rapidly from exposure to the elements, having a useful lifespan of only nine years. Covering them protected their structural members, thus extending their life to 80 years or more.

Most wooden covered bridges employ trusses as their key structural design element. A popular design was the Brown truss, known for its simplicity, but others were also used.

Given the ready availability of steel, concrete, and other modern construction materials, most modern covered bridges are built either for the convenience of the user, rather than to protect the structure itself, or as a statement of style or design."

Susan said...

Oh, Cindy, you should plan an excursion in autumn to see some of them! I wish I could come to see them with you. That is a lot of covered bridges! Are they doing anything to preserve the remaining ones? It would be a shame for any more of them to fall by the wayside!

I love the new blog, too! I think you can still join if you want. Just contact Char of ramblins. This is just the first week and we have until the end of the week to submit our posts.

Susan said...

Ruthie, I DID drive around all morning yesterday to take the pictures. I stopped first at our community center to get a map, and luckily they were all in our township and an adjacent one, so that was very helpful. Union is a very large county area wise.

It was so much fun and just a perfect day for it. It felt like autumn in the cool air.

My answer to Alaine has the reason for being covered and wooden.

That just settles it! You will have to come for a visit so you can have the ultimate experience of "The Bridges of Union County"!

ds said...

Oh, I love covered bridges! Yours are lovely. Even the ironworks bridge is beautiful (it looks so delicate). Thanks for sharing!

Oliag said...

How wonderful that so many covered bridges are being preserved and are still in use...like old wooden barns they bring to mind a simpler, transient life and are so beautiful in design...Wonderful photos and that must have been such a fun day driving around to each one...

Love the new site and I'm mulling over what to add to it:)

Susan said...

ds, I really like the ironworks bridge, too, and was delighted to find it...in some ways I like it better than the wooden ones.

Susan said...

Oliag, I really enjoyed my day...the weather was just perfect for bridge hunting! All but one of these bridges are in daily use...it's a treat to be able to drive across them.

I'm so happy that you joined! Yay! Can't wait to see your post!

The Bumbles said...

To answer your question we lived in Bay Village, OH. We were only there for about a year or two before packing up and moving to upstate NY.

This is the second blog post I've come across in recent months of people posting photos of their own town/neighborhood. Sometimes you don't have to go very far to find beauty!

VioletSky said...

Love your bridges.
Actually, I love bridges to look at and these ones are certainly different than any I have seen.

I wonder what Mr Partridge's house looked like...?

Off to check out this new blog.

Susan said...

Molly, thanks for coming back. Bay Village looks beautiful! But then, so is upstate NY!

If you look at our new blog, you'll see lots of fellow bloggers finding beauty in their own backyards.

http://lensustogether.blogspot.com/

Susan said...

Sanna, believe me, you wouldn't have a bit of trouble driving over these bridges!

That's an interesting question about Mr. Partridge...I'll have to look into it.

VioletSky said...

Yes, these bridges are fine - it is the huge, curving multi-lane ones that get to me. Like that BueWater Bridge to Pt Huron that even has a toll for the experience.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Beautiful! What a picturesque area you live in.
I would love to take more outdoor shots too, you are very inspiring.

Susan said...

Thank you, Natashya! Actually, that's pretty much it for scenic views around here, but we do have beautiful areas all around Ohio.

Maybe you could start featuring some of your dishes being served outside. That would open up a whole new avenue for you!

California Girl said...

Your bridges appear to be in much better shape than ours in N.H. Ours are a huge attraction and they do keep them up but yours look recently rehabbed.

Great captures.

Susan said...

Thanks, Cali Girl, two of them were built from scratch in 2006 to replace ones that were too dilapidated to be rehabbed. The others have had extensive work done in the past few years.

julie king said...

wow!! i live in englewood just down the road from you and had no idea that there were so many covered bridges in union county!!!! the next free saturday or sunday i'm asking hubbie to drive me around. love your photos!1