The first Pine Grove Bridge was built some time in 1816, but was later destroyed by a storm.
In 1846, the bridge was rebuilt by Robert Russell and Joseph Elliott for just $1,494, but it was later swept away by ice.
In 1884, Elias McMellen, a former Captain in the Union Army, built the 198 feet long and 15 feet wide bridge, and added it to his list of 12 other bridges he built in eastern Pennsylvania.
(Mostly in Lancaster County, but I have also photographed Pool Forge, which is North of Oxford, in Caernarvon Township.
[Anyone have an idea of how much it cost?] – ($4295)
In 1988 it was restored, and 20 years later in 2008 it was refurbished.
Pine Grove is the longest bridge in Chester and Lancaster counties, and sits just below a waterfall that is next to the old pump-house of the Octoraro Water Company.
The pump-house was built in 1904 by the Chester Water Authority, and since 1953, they have been leasing space for meeting rooms and art studios to the Charles X. Carlson Octoraro Art Association (OAA).
On a personal note, this is one of the bridges that I got to photograph with my daughter, Madison.
She was such a trooper, even though she was usually bored out of her mind.
I did ask her to blog about her experience during the days adventure, and she has… Kudos to her…
Since this was the first time that she had seen me at work, my running around in the water, and up and down rocks was causing her to caution me continually.
It was hard to convince her that this was one of the easier bridges to photograph.
Built in 1889 by Built by Menander Wood and George E. Jones for
[Who much do you think it cost?] – $1767
This 65 for long, 16 foot wide bridge also holds the distinction of being the Southernmost Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania, and in 1980 was listed National Register of Historic Places.
I photographed Glen Hope two years ago, and I still remember my conversations with Jamie Crouse of Elkton, Maryland, as he was kind enough to stop and chat with me for some time.
He and his family have lived in the area for several generations, and the stories he told me seem to roll right off his tongue, as if it was yesterday’s news.
As a young boy, Jamie remembered his father telling him the story of an overloaded cement truck crashing through the floorboards in 1967, and how new Steel Stringers were added by the end of 1968.
Jamie also told me the story of the arson fire that occurred during 1987.
Apparently a couple of local college boys, decided to take bales of hay, put them inside a bridge, and then doused them with gasoline, and setting them on fire.
He was able to point to dark indentations in the floorboards, where one can still see the outlines of where hay bales were set on fire.
There was a great deal of damage to the roof, and in 1991 a significant restoration effort was completed, including the recovery of the original Bongossi wood.
Bongossi wood is from Africa, and is very dark and dense and used heavily in construction and marine work.
I do not have any collaborating evidence on this but Jamie’s most humorous story was the following:
“During his teenage years, two local girls visited Glenn Hope and other local covered bridges in the area, and carved “Boobless Wonder Strikes Again” on the down-creek trusses and “Woogie” on the up-creek trusses.”
If anyone can confirm this…
Glen Hope was the last Chester County Covered Bridge that I photographed on October 21st, 2010, nearly a year to the day of when I started with Bartram on October 23, 2009.
In conclusion, the four covered bridges of the Oxford area are very unique to Chester County, and with the colors of fall starting to emerge, I encourage you and your family to take a trip to any one of these bridges and witness the beauty of the bridges and this coming fall season.
There are 4 computers set up, each with a different Slide Show, that features 2 more images of each bridge, and 5 images from the rest of my Portfolio.
I invite you to take a look…
Final Thank You’s
Citadel for Hosting…
Gwen for arranging everything…
And everyone for coming…
The following links where part of the slide show that were running on four (4) different computer screens during the Open House.