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Mink Hollow Covered Bridge Lancaster Ohio

Uncover Ohio's Covered Bridges

Learn more about these iconic structures.

Mink Hollow Covered Bridge in Lancaster

Uncover Ohio's Covered Bridges

By Theresa Russell

Posted On: Nov 23, 2020

My aunt had quite a collection of paintings and other objects depicting covered bridges. It's no surprise that she was drawn to a structure so simple and utilitarian, yet so beautiful. The sight of such a bridge instantly evokes feelings of pastoral serenity. And upon further consideration, I realized that this must be the most represented style of bridge in artwork.

Fortunately for covered bridge aficionados, Ohio ranks as one of the top states in its number of remaining covered bridges. Even more exciting is the fact that these special bridges exist throughout the entire state - so you won't have to go far to find one.

When looking for covered bridges in Ohio, check out the Fairfield County Covered Bridge Trail map. And it's no surprise that Fairfield has this trail, as they have a claim to the most covered bridges in any county in the state.

George Hutchins Covered Bridge at Alley Park in Lancaster 
George Hutchins Covered Bridge at Alley Park in Lancaster 

A Bit of History

Covered bridges became popular in America in the 1800s. Most bridges made of wood suffered and deteriorated from the elements, so adding a roof to them extended their lives. Farmers had to get the livestock across streams and rivers and found that such a structure reminded the animals of a barn and reduced the chances of stampeding or anxiety when the animals couldn't see the water below.

There are several construction styles with the Kingpost style being the most popular. These styles all have to do with the design of the their trusses.

Rock Mill Covered Bridge Lancaster Fairfield County Ohio
Rock Mill Covered Bridge, Stebelton Park at Rock Mill in Lancaster 

A Blast from the Past

Some of these bridges are quite easily accessible and nearby routes you might usually follow. So you can make a point to get off the beaten path to investigate them. Some of the bridges are on private property and can't be seen from the road, while others are in parks and still others are fully functional.

Ashtabula County - which hosts the annual Covered Bridge Festival - has both the shortest and longest covered bridge in the United States. As well as a Covered Bridge Trail and Olin's Museum of Covered Bridges. 

Bergstresser/Dietz Covered Bridge Canal Winchester Ohio
Bergstresser/Dietz Covered Bridge in Canal Winchester 

More Ohio Covered Bridges

Charles Holliday Bridge in Fairfield County

Built in the late 1890s by J.W. Buchanan, the Charles Holliday Bridge was the last one standing in Walnut Township. The 96-foot multiple Kingpost span was reconstructed in 1982 at its current location.

Stemen House Bridge in Fairfield County 

Known as the Estates Covered Bridge, The Stemen House Covered Bridge was built in 1888 and moved in 1978 to Covered Bridge Estates. This is the only bridge in Fairfield County open to vehicular traffic.

Bergstresser/Dietz Covered Bridge in Canal Winchester 

This covered bridge was constructed around March 1887, after people in the area petitioned for a bridge over Little Walnut Creek. In 1991, the bridge was was restored and rededicated to the Village of Canal Winchester. It's considered the last covered bridge in Franklin County. 

The focus on covered bridges brought back memories and provides an opportunity to discover even more of Ohio.

For more Ohio history and historic attractions, check out #OhioFindItHere at Ohio.org

 

*Fairfield County photos courtesy of Visit Fairfield County, Ohio. Bergstresser/Dietz Covered Bridge photo courtesy of author

**Originally published in Sept. 2016, updated Nov. 2020 

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