Earlier this year I drove up the Big Darby Plains Scenic Byway– a state route that runs along Big Darby Creek in Union County, Ohio- to get to a particular destination (a place I will talk about in a future post). This area in central Ohio was formerly plains and prairies, unlike much of the rest of the state (which was heavily forested). All of this changed after European settlers came and cleared the land in the 19th century…
…anyway, as I drove along the byway, I passed several covered bridges. I have written briefly before about this subject, but some of these bridges were actually historical. These Union County covered bridges were created by one man, Reuben Partridge, from the 1850s to the 1870s. In his career, he built over 125 covered bridges- and some of them still stand (though refurbished). He had a patent on his covered bridge designs, and died from complications after falling off one of his bridges in 1900. There is somewhat of a covered bridge revival recently as these bridges are being replaced or refurbished. Here’s the ones I passed in my little road trip.
The scenic byway is out in farm country- note the covered bridge sign.
Spain Creek Covered Bridge
The Spain Creek Bridge was the first one I ran across- literally. I stopped in the middle of the road and marveled at this refurbished historical bridge.
Modest Spain Creek ran under the bridge.
Buck Run Covered Bridge
North Lewisburg Covered Bridge
The North Lewisburg Bridge replaced an old iron bridge over Big Darby Creek- it’s another modern design, built in 2006.
Here’s Big Darby Creek, smaller and narrower as it nears its source.
Pottersburg Covered Bridge
The Pottersburg Bridge is another of Reuben Partridge’s creations, and it was moved from its original location nearby to just off the scenic byway, to keep it from wear and tear. Back in the day, horses, coaches and wagons were the heaviest traffic these structures would see- modern trucks are much heavier. It has its own small park- actually a bicycle greenway that ends up in the small town of North Lewisburg 2 miles away. It’s great to see history preserved like this.
There are a couple of other covered bridges in the area that I didn’t run into- I’ll have to find them on a return trip. Oh, and there’s a Union County Covered Bridge Festival every year at the Pottersburg Bridge in the autumn. These bridges were a pleasant surprise to run into. I always have to stop and read the historical marker signs.