I must dedicate this page to the person that is most responsible for it. In 2007 a little girl by the name of Hannah Lincoln contacted me from Erie and asked to use my web site in a school project, needless to say how elated I was and without hesitation I gave her permission and also said to contact me if she needed any help. It really makes me feel good when I see our youth showing interest in our historical heritage. The photos on this page were taken by her and her mother and grand dad.
Gudgeonville Covered Bridge
(This bridge was completely destroyed by arsons and will not be replaced)
This bridge was located on Township Route 400, Gudgeonville Road, in Girard Township. When you enter the town of Girard, go south on Walnut Street, two miles to Beckman Road and then 0.8 southeast on Beckman Road, and 0.7 miles south on Gudgeonville Road.
The Covered Bridge was built in 1868 by William Sherman utilizing multiple kingpost truss. The bridge crossed over Elk Creek and had one span. The length was 72 feet long and 14 feet wide. The Township owned. The bridge was in good condition and open to vehicle traffic. When I say the bridge was in good condition I can only mean it is structurally stable, as you view the photos you can see how vandals have defaced this historical site. This bridge is the worse I have ever seen of our covered bridges when it comes to vandalism. Maybe the vandalism and just plain ignorance on the Townships historical intelligence is the reason the bridge will not be replaced.
I keep this bridge in my web site although it is gone because of the folk lore that surrounds it, this was sent to me recently, although the dates do not correspond with the National register or any documentation I have seen I still thought people would enjoy reading the haunted tale. So for your reading pleasure I submit the following:
Built in 1837, it is one of the oldest covered bridges in the country. In approximately 1855, a Kentucky man named Obadiah Will was delivering a mule named Gudgeon to Meadville. As they entered the bridge, a couple canal boats passed by playing a tune - My Old Kentucky Home. The mule dropped dead in its tracks. Mr. Will was given permission to bury the mule on the west bank of the creek and he had the word "Gudgeonville" painted on the end of the bridge. There is rumor of an apparition of a little girl seen by the cliffs near the bridge where she fell to her death in the 1940's or 1950's. There is also a report of a manifestation of a headless horseman with a black steed with demonic eyes. There were also apparently many tragic deaths associated with Elk Creek, which runs under the bridge, during the war of 1812. We've also heard that beheading was not uncommon at that time. In October 2005, five members traveled to Girard, PA, to find out if these rumors were true. We found the bridge still in use by automobiles, preventing us from setting up video cameras. The interior of the bridge was completely covered in graffiti, which was sad since there are so few covered bridges left. We snapped a good bit of photos, but nothing turned up in any pictures. There were no temperature changes, nor were there any EMF spikes. EVP turned up no evidence of paranormal activity either.
We must conclude that once again, urban legend is the only explanation for the stories told about this bridge.
Harrington Covered Bridge
(GPS N41 52.15 W80 25.72)
This structure is located on State Route 3003, known as Barney Road, approximately 3 miles southeast of Cherry Hill, in Conneaut Township.
The Bridge was built in 1870 by William Sherman using multiple kingpost truss. The structure spans West Branch Conneaut Creek. The bridge is 72 feet long and 14 feet wide and utilizes one span. It is open to vehicle traffic and is owned and maintained by the Township. As of this date the bridge looks to be in fair condition.
Waterford Covered Bridge
(GPS N41 56.47 W79 57.82)
Waterford bridge is located on Township Route 459, just east of the town of Waterford. On Route 19 in the town turn east on East First Street for 0.3 miles, then south on East Street approximately 1 mile to bridge.
This bridge was built in 1875 by Charles and James Phelps using the Town Truss design and utilizes one span. The structures length is 78 feet and a width of 15 feet, it crosses Le Boeuf Creek. The bridges is in good condition and open to vehicle traffic. The Township owns and maintains the surrounding area. This is the only bridge that is painted in Erie county and has a sign hanging on the gable end of the portal saying "Old Kissing Bridge".
Erie county used to have 4 bridges, Carman/Carmen/Perry/McKee Road Bridge. I am sorry to say that all that is left of this structures is the concrete spans on each end of the creek. I have heard of no plans of restoring this historical bridge. Just another one of our heritage sites gone forever.