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

California State Route 190; a Trans-Sierra Highway that could have been

This past week I decided to take a small scale road trip on California State Route 190 from CA 99 east to the unbuilt section over the Sierra Nevada Range.  While I was in for what turned out to be a fun drive following the course of the Tule River watershed what I found researching the back story of CA 190 was one of the most complex and unusual stories of any California State Highway.  Given that I had a ton of older photos of the eastern segment of CA 190 in the Mojave Desert of Inyo County I thought it was time to put something together for the entire route. The simplified story of CA 190 is that it is a 231 mile state highway that has a 43 mile unbuilt gap in the Sierra Nevada Range.  CA 190 is an east/west State Highway running from CA 99 in Tulare County at Tipton east to CA 127 located in Death Valley Junction near the Nevada State Line in rural Inyo County.  The routing CA 190 was adopted into the State Highway system as Legislative Route 127 which was adopted in 1933 acc

I-73/I-74 and NC Future Interstates, Year in Review 2022

Another year over, already? 2022 turned out to be quite the year if you are a fan of new interstate routes, and it wasn't bad for some long standing favorites. As per the tradition, I will review what happened with I-73 and I-74, and then the other new and future interstate routes in North Carolina... Work continued on the one segment of I-73 under construction, the I-73/I-74 Rockingham Bypass. As of the beginning of December, work was getting close to being 2/3 complete at 60.1%. Progress could be seen from US 74 on constructing of the future interchange at the Bypass's southern end. Here's a look from US 74 East in September from Google Maps Street View: Here's a photo from US 74 West taken last week by David Gallo: Work is now scheduled to be completed in October 2025, though the road itself could open earlier that year.  Progress on I-74 earned more publicity in 2022 with the opening of 7.5 more miles of the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway from US 311 (Exit 49) to NC

Interstate 605

Interstate 605 is a 27.4-mile freeway located in the Los Angeles Metropolitain Area.  Interstate 605 begins at Interstate 210 near Duarte and terminates at the Interstate 405/California State Route 22 junction to the south near the boundary to the city of Long Beach.  Interstate 605 is known as the San Gabriel River Freeway and has three unconstructed miles which would extend it south to California State Route 1 near Seal Beach.  Much of the corridor of Interstate 605 was built up from what was the original California State Route 35.  The blog cover photo is taken from the July/August 1964 California Highways & Public Works which featured the initial segment of Interstate 605 to open between Whittier Boulevard and Peck Road  Part 1; the history of the San Gabriel River Freeway and Interstate 605 The origin of what is now Interstate 605 begins during 1933 with the addition of Legislative Route Number 170 (LRN 170) to the State Highway System.  The original definition of LRN 170 was