Monday, January 19, 2009

Covered Bridges of Central Pennsylvania

Because January, February, and parts of March are difficult months to fly fish, I've decided to write a short post about a few Pennsylvania covered bridges I photographed over the past weekend. I've always been fascinated by these beautiful and increasingly rare structures. For me, they are indicative of the process by which people transform objects of utility into works of art. Indeed, the roof of a covered bridge was a technological achievement designed to prolong the integrity of a bridge's wooden frame by shielding it from snow, rain, and ice. However, covered bridges' wooden sides and roofs became a canvas for artistic display - builders and local communities were able to select colors (the traditional red being the most common), signs (hex signs are frequently found on covered bridges in the heart of Pennsylvania German country), and other forms of adornment (flood level lines, local lovers' graffiti, etc.).

I have been searching and photographing covered bridges for a few years. As a fly fisherman, it provides me with an excuse to seek out new rivers in the middle of wintertime. I hope you enjoy the three bridges Jackie and I photographed a few days ago in Pennsylvania's Snyder and Juniata counties.

The Aline Covered Bridge is located in Snyder County. The bridge was constructed in 1884 over the Mahntango Creek.

The North Oriental Covered Bridge is located on the border between Snyder and Juniata counties. It was ameliorated in the 80's and again in 2003.

The Mesier's Mill Covered Bridge is located in Juniata County. It was built in 1907 and spans the Hahantango Creek.

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