The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933
Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
Covered Bridges
Bradford County PA
Chemung County NY
Tioga County PA

Just North of Chemung County, in
Newfield, Tompkins County NY, is this
Covered Bridge, the longest covered bridge
still in use in NY - Photo by Joyce 1999.
Article: Covered Bridges
Chemung County NY 
Article by Helen Mac Dougall Samson (1909-1995) in  1976
Sent in by Walt Samson
Postcards & Photos from Joyce's Collection
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JULY 1, 1976




The State Covered Bridge Society met last week at near-by Havana Glen. This organization is dedicated to the preservation of the old landmarks of this and other states. Meetings have been held twice in the county, once at the library with a visit to the Historical Center and the following year at Harris Hill. A dozen residents of the vicinity are members of the society.

There were at least two covered bridges across the Chemung River in the early days. If there were others, no record is available. One was at the location of Fitch’s Bridge and was called Lumberman’s Bridge because of the extensive lumbering carried on in the vicinity. Daniel Fitch lived near the bridge and was, himself a well known lumberman. For twenty years Chemung lumber enjoyed a fine reputation in the market for quality. Loads of logs came up from Chemung and Seeley Creek. The bridge became a necessity in bringing these loads across the river. Mr. Fitch was the prime mover in the project and contributed $2500 toward it. The rest was raised by him among neighbors and in the city. He formed a company with himself as president and also built a "gang" mill below the structure. This was a common type of lumber mill and consisted of a series of saws instead of one. The four span bridge was built in 1850 and served the community well until a freshet broke it up in 1881 and it was replaced with a suspension type.

The other bridge was a short span that connected an open structure with the town of Southport. One end was on Clinton Island, the large island in the river which has been washed away for many years. It carried Lake Street across the river and was destroyed by a fire in the tannery at the south end.

The last wooden bridge across the stream was between Lake and Pennsylvania Avenue. It was constructed like a covered bridge with closed sides but there was no roof. It has been suggested that the completely closed sides were built to prevent horses from being frightened by a glimpse of the rushing waters on either side.

The old bridges that so far have survived the arsonists are memorials to the men who planned and built them to last over a hundred years. The roof and the closed sides protected the floor from the elements and besides provided a great place for a fellow to "park" the buggy and do a little sparking.

Above - Two Postcards of the Suspension Bridge that Replaced the old Covered Bridge in the same place.
First Added to the Site  on 22DEC 2002
By Joyce M. Tice

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The History Center on Main Street, 83 N. Main Street, Mansfield PA 16933