Skip to main content

Kidd's Mill Covered Bridge - Mercer County, Pennsylvania

 


Built in 1868 to replace a span destroyed by flooding along the Shenango River, the Kidd's Mills Covered Bridge is the last remaining historic covered bridge located in Mercer County, Pennsylvania. Known in Mercer County's inventory as Bridge # 1801, the bridge is located on Township Road 471, about a half mile east of PA 18, near the community of Transfer in Pymatuning Township. The 124 foot long covered bridge was designed using a Smith through truss design and is the easternmost covered bridge that utilizes the Smith through truss design. The bridge was built by the Smith Bridge Company of Tipp City, Ohio (formerly known as Tippecanoe City).

The Smith truss design for a covered bridge was kind of like the bridge version of a Craftsman home, as it was not constructed on site. Devised and patented in 1867 by Robert Smith, both the tension and compression members were all wood. During the period of 1867 to 1870, Smith built fifteen of these patented structures in Miami County, Ohio. Smith usually assembled the trusses in his home yard and shipped them by rail to the destination. Standard charges for a complete bridge put up by the Smith Bridge Company was $18 per foot for a bridge span of 125 feet.

The Smith truss was designed specifically to compete with iron by using timber as efficiently as possible, and for a decade, the Smith Bridge Company was rather successful at this practice. Historians estimate that several hundred Smith trusses were built in nine states, being most popular in Ohio, Indiana, California and Oregon, with the Kidd's Mill Covered Bridge being the only remaining bridge of Smith's design that is still standing east of Ohio. The cost-effectiveness of iron led to the abandonment of the Smith truss design in the 1880s, but Smith's company made the transition and continued to build bridges until 1891.

The Kidd's Mill Covered Bridge carried traffic for well over a century. In 1963s, the covered bridge was bypassed and slated for demolition, but Mercer County adopted a resolution to maintain the structure as an historic landmark. The bridge continued to carry local traffic until 1979, when an overloaded vehicle fractured several truss members and rendered the bridge unsafe. In 1989, Mercer County leased the bridge for 99 years to the Shenango Conservancy, who restored the bridge in 1990 and maintains the bridge as an historic landmark with a local park, which you can visit today.








How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
Historic Structures - Kidd's Mill Covered Bridge, Greenville Pennsylvania
Bridgehunter.com - Kidd's Mill Covered Bridge 38-43-01
Visit Mercer County PA - Kidd’s Mill Covered Bridge
Interesting Pennsylvania and Beyond - Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, Mercer County, PA
Mercer County Engineer's Office - Historic Bridge 1801
Portland Bolt & Manufacturing Company, Inc. - Kidds Mill Covered Bridge: Repair


Update Log:
January 26, 2022 - Crossposted to Quintessential Pennsylvania - https://quintessentialpa.blogspot.com/2022/01/kidds-mill-covered-bridge.html

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California

The historic corridor of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 through the borderlands of southern California share a largely mutual history.  Both highways originated in the city of San Diego and departed the state at the Colorado River into Yuma, Arizona.  Both highways share numerous famous geographical components such as the Mountain Springs Grade and Algodones Sand Dunes.  This article serves as a comprehensive history of the combined US Route 80/Interstate 8 corridor in California from the tolled stage route era of the nineteenth century to the development of the modern freeway.   The blog cover photo features US Route 80 along the Mountains Springs Grade through In-Ko-Pah Gorge during late 1920s.  This photo is part of the Caltrans McCurry Collection. Part 1; the history of US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California US Route 80 and Interstate 8 in California share a largely mutual history.  The backstory of both highways is tied heavily to the corridors of the Old Spanish Trail, Legisl

The Central Freeway of San Francisco (US Route 101)

The Central Freeway is a 1.2-mile elevated limited access corridor in the city of San Francisco.  As presently configured the Central Freeway connects from the end of the Bayshore Freeway to Market Street.  The Central Freeway carries the mainline of northbound US Route 101 from the Bayshore Freeway to Mission Street. The Central Freeway has origins with the establishment of Legislative Route Number 223 and is heavily tied to the history of the once proposed Panhandle Freeway.  The Central Freeway between the Bayshore Freeway and Mission Street was completed during 1955.  The corridor was extended to a one-way couplet located at Turk Street and Golden Gate Avenue in 1959 which served to connect US Route 101 to Van Ness Avenue.  The Central Freeway was damaged by the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and has since been truncated to Market Street.   The Central Freeway as pictured on the blog cover was featured in the May/June 1959 California Highways & Public Works.  The scan below is fro

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact, the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine w