I could go on about the dozens of picturesque covered bridges that used to dot the York County countryside, but this will be my last post on them for now. I realize that they were rendered obsolete by mid-twentieth century transportation needs and were not really sustainable. It is a shame, as I mentioned in my previous post, that the two chosen to be preserved, Bentzel’s Mill bridge and Detter’s Mill bridge were lost, one to Hurricane Agnes flooding and the other to collapse and fire, possibly arson.
Still, one covered bridge with one foot in York County and the other in Cumberland County does endure. It is the Bowmansdale/Stoner bridge that was moved in 1972 from its Bowmansdale location to the Messiah College campus at Grantham, and it was been nicely restored. Click this link for more on that bridge.
When I came across the clipping transcribed below, from the August 26, 1955 Gazette and Daily, in the covered bridge file at the York County History Center, I thought the Grantham station bridge (pictured above) might be the same bridge as the one that is now at Messiah. After comparing images and looking at the 1876 Beech Nichols Atlas of York County, however, I am believe they were two different bridges that were a short distance apart on the Yellow Breeches. I am not as familiar with the northern part of the county as the southeastern townships, so please let me know if this is not correct. This link includes a 1948 photo of the Bowmansdale bridge.
The August 1955 Gazette and Daily item reads:
ANOTHER RELIC TO GO—Another of York county’s last covered bridges is giving way to a modern span. County commissioners yesterday joined with Cumberland county commissioners in authorizing James B. Long, bridge engineer of Norristown, to draw up plans for a new bridge to replace this old wood and stone one over Yellow Breeches creek at Grantham station. Bids then will be sought on the project. One end is in Monaghan township and the other in Cumberland county. A sag is visible part way down the 119-foot span.
Google searches turn up a wealth of information on area covered bridges. This link will take you a covered bridge post by fellow blogger Jim McClure.
Maintaining covered bridges is still quite an expense, as evidenced by this article on Messiah College’s “facelift” of the bridge a few years ago.
Click the links below for my previous posts on lost York County covered bridges: