Springettsbury’s Last Covered Bridge over the Codorus
I discovered this 1949 covered bridge photo in the Archives of the York County History Center. It piqued my interest because it connected Springettsbury and Manchester Townships, establishing a short roadway connection between Pleasureville and Emigsville. Further research revealed this was Springettsbury Township’s last covered bridge over the Codorus Creek. The bridge stood until 1955, when replaced by a modern I-beam bridge, on Mundis Mill Road. If you are reading this on the Ydr.com site, click on this LINK for a Full View of the illustrations in this post on the original YorkBlog site; since the ydr.com site will occasionally cut off important details in the cropping of illustrations.
This covered bridge had several identities. In York County records, it is referenced as County Bridge #170. At times it took the name of the nearby Mundis Brothers’ Mill, hence the name Mundis Mill Bridge. With the mill changing hands, the bridge reverted to a former name, Myer’s Mill Bridge; however Mundis Mill Bridge would still occasionally pop back up into prominence. I’ll use Mundis Mill Bridge, since it is more relevant, location wise, to the present road in the area, Mundis Mill Road.
In York County’s great flood of 1884, a violent storm quickly dumped over 8-inches of rain, causing widespread destruction. Even though totally under water, the Black Bridge of the Northern Central Railway was the only bridge over the Codorus Creek that survived destruction over the creeks length from its entrance into York City, all the way to where the creek emptied into the Susquehanna River.
A review of newspapers in the weeks after the flood, provide details of the County Commissioners awarded contracts to replace the bridges. On August 16, 1884, a contract, to build a new wooden County Bridge #170, was awarded to Samuel Stauffer, for $691. For $691, York County got the pictured wooden bridge; that served the public from 1884 until 1955; 72-years. Those wooden covered bridges were durable, as long as they were high enough to prevent them from being swept away during floods.
High waters on August 26, 1905, had the residents living in the vicinity of this covered bridge, lashing the structure to heavy trees, in hopes of preventing the bridge from washing away; it worked! A bridge inspection report of 1925, continued to report the high water mark was the bridge floor.
I researched all the bridges across the Codorus Creek into Springettsbury Township and discovered there were three. All of them were one-lane bridges until the late 1940s, when two of them were torn down and modern two-lane bridges replaced them.
The pictured bridge stood until 1955, as documented in an article within the June 14, 1955, issue of The Gazette and Daily. Quoting from the article that reported on awarding a contract to replace the covered bridge:
The state highway department yesterday awarded a $339,947 contract for construction of 1.66 miles of roadway from near Pleasureville to near Emigsville to Jack and Jim Maser, Inc., of Brownstone, the Associated Press reported. The work, in Springettsbury and Manchester townships, includes construction of an I-beam bridge over Codorus Creek and a reinforced concrete span over a tributary of the Codorus. Also included is the demolition of the covered bridge at Mundis Mill, which the former replaces.
The 1.66 miles of new road eliminated many tight turns; as it was turned into a roadway with long flowing curves. Today these roads are: Mundis Mill Road on the Springettsbury Township side of the bridge and Emig Road on the Manchester Township side of the bridge.
I’ve annotated the 1949 photo of the covered bridge to highlight the bridge construction. This bridge was a Burr Arch Truss design. I’ve pointed out the primary features in this bridge design; long arches on each side of the bridge. The arches are named after the foremost wooden bridge builder in the country, Theodore Burr, who developed them and applied them in a 1804 bridge that spanned the Hudson River.
The arches are anchored in the stone abutments on each end of the bridge. As with many Burr Arch Truss bridges, this bridge is coupled with a multiple kingpost framework; adding to the bridge strength and providing a rectangular framework with which to attached the roof and exterior wooden side planks on the covered bridge.
Links to related posts:
- Covered Railroad Bridge over the Codorus Creek
- Codorus Creek Bridge was known as Shiverin Liz
- On the Job at Black Bridge
- Blackbridge Road went under Black Bridge
- How Black Bridge got its Name
- Pinpointing when Black Bridge got its Name
- Civil War Era Bridge Types at Black Bridge Location