Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Along the Way: Sonestown Covered Bridge

The Sonestown Covered Bridge
Sullivan County is graced by the beauty of three covered bridges and one afternoon Zech and I set out to visit and photograph them. At one time thirty covered bridges stood within the boundaries of the county, but only three still exist.

Traveling north on Route 220 we came around a bend in the road to see the first bridge of our journey immediately on the right. Seeing I was caught off-guard by the sudden appearance of the bridge, I was past it before I had time to react. Finding a place to turn around we returned to the Sonestown Covered Bridge.

Located on Champion Hill Road, there is very little parking available for those who visit the bridge. We passed through it and I found a spot on the eastern side of the bridge that allowed for any traffic to safely pass while we explored.

Built in 1850, the Sonestown Covered Bridge crosses over Muncy Creek just south of the town which it takes its name from. With a length of one hundred and ten feet, the bridge is also referred to as the Davidson Covered Bridge due to its location in Davidson Township. The bridge has a single span with a Burr Truss design. The Burr Truss was one of the earliest designs and was named after Theodore Burr who patented the design. The Burr Truss is the most common design used in covered bridges and is by far the most common design used in Pennsylvania’s covered bridges.

The bridge was originally placed to allow access to a gristmill that once stood on the eastern banks of Muncy Creek, just to the south of the bridge. While the builder of the bridge is not listed, some sources state that Sadler Rogers (also spelled Rodgers) designed it and the plaque on the bridge gives him credit for erecting the bridge. However, when the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, in July 1980, the builder of the bridge is listed as "Unknown."

Over the years the bridge has undergone repairs from flood damage and overall it is in great condition. It rests on two stone abutments that have been reinforced with concrete to help protect it from future floods.

When photographing the bridge, we found that we had a number of angles to work from, all of which presented nice shots. I did not see any no trespassing signs and seeing there were people in the creek, we did venture down the western bank to the creek and were able to photograph it from that angle too.

Postcard featuring the Sonestown Covered Bridge
Postmarked 1958
Interestingly it is described as being located on the Loyalsock.
Part of the author's personal collection
One thing I do have to warn about: Sonestown Covered Bridge is open to traffic and while we were there we did have a number of vehicles use the bridge. Some of these vehicles did not slow down when they passed through it, so please be careful and aware of your surroundings.

If you choose to visit, please be respectful of the area.

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