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The Keatings Explore Pennsylvania & Delaware, Part III

Rudolph and Arthur Bridge 38-15-01
Linton Stevens Bridge 35-15-03
Glen Hope Bridge 38-15-02
Glen Hope Bridge Interior
Speakman #1 Bridge 38-15-05
Speakman #1 Interior

Hi Folks
On Monday afternoon we continued touring Chester County with the Mason-Dixon tour, skipping the Delaware bridges, and starting with Rudolph and Arthur (38-15-01), then Linton Stevens (38-15-03) and finally Glen Hope.
       Tuesday morning we took the Octoraro tour, starting with Speakman #I. Notice the missing boards in the portal at the top of the interior photo. I hope someone who sees this contacts Chester County or PennDOT.
       We skipped Speakman #II and Hayes Clark, because they are only open to members of the Brandywine Conservancy.
       Next is Mercer's Mill, which had a 5 ton weight limit, in answer to Konrad. The next two bridges on this tour, Jackson's Mill and White Rock, are actually inside Lancaster County, but were included in the tour. The last bridge, Pine Grove, is back in Chester County.
       After this tour, we stopped for lunch, shopping and a stop at the Lancaster County Visitors Center. The Lancaster Visitors Center gave us a Lancaster County Covered Bridge driving tour. Their phone number is 1-800 PA-DUTCH.
       Lancaster County is home to a large Amish population, followers of John Amin, a German who left Germany with his followers about 1850, escaping turbulent times before German unification. The Amish are called "Pennsylvania Dutch" because they spoke German/Deutsch so Americans called them "Dutch"-- even though they were not from the Netherlands. Interestingly, the Amish refer to all non Amish as "the English" because they are English speakers. The Amish still speak a German dialect among themselves from what I have read. They do not use modern appliances, including TVs or cars. We saw many of their black horse drawn buggies. Some of you may have seen the movie "Witness" that depicted their lifestyle. The Amish do not like to have their pictures taken, so I suspect that only non Amish were in the movie.
      On the way back to our motel, we stopped at the Willows bridge, actually a combination of two bridges. [Here is the text] of an explanatory sign:

Built c. 1855

This is a combination of two bridges:
1) The Millers Farm Bridge, Linking Providence and Strasburg Townships was built in 1871, at the cost of $1,875.00 and was 75 feet long.
2) The Goods Ford Bridge, crossing the Pequea Creek was built in 1855 at the cost of $1,165.00 and was 79 feet long.

Both bridges were slated for destruction in 1962. Mr. Adolph Neuber (then owner of the Amish Farm and Home) was given the Millers Farm Bridge from the County of Lancaster to preserve this historical landmark. He purchased the Goods Ford Bridge to repair the rotten wood from the Millers. With the help and guidance of Roy Zimmerman, the bridges were restored and combined to comlete the Willows Bridge.

The bridge was named for Mr. Neuber's restaurant, The Willows, which was located next door (1931-1996).

Every piece, except the wood shingles, is from the original bridges the original handmade spikes and bolts were reused.

The floor is red oak while some chords are white pine. The arches were cut from pine tree that were 150 years old when cut, therefore making part of the bridge's wood almost 300 years old!

Today there are less than 30 . . . .

       We also stopped at the Leaman Place (38-36-20) bridge. Liz took a picture of a horse drawn tourist wagon going through the bridge.


Speakman #1 Bridge
Mercers Mill Bridge 38-15-19
Jacksons Mill Bridge 38-36-33
White Rock Bridge 38-36-18
Pine Grove Bridge 38-15-22
Willows Bridge 38-36-43
Leaman Place Bridge 38-36-20
Leaman Place Bridge with tourist wagon

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 11/03/2008