Friday, June 9, 2017

Along the Way: Trusal and Harmon Covered Bridges

Trusal Covered Bridge
 Two of Indiana County’s covered bridges are located off of Five Points Road within a half mile of each other, just east of the Small community of Willet.

The first of the two bridges I stopped at was Trusal Covered Bridge, which is located a little over a mile east of Willet. Trusal Covered Bridge is a single span bridge that crosses over Plum Creek. There is a parking area near the bridge and there exists a small historical marker near the bridge that explains the history of the bridge. The covered bridge has been bypassed by Trusal Road but is open to foot traffic.

Trusal Covered Bridge
Built in 1870, the bridge is a single span with a length of forty-one feet with a Town Truss (also known as a Town’s Lattice Truss), a design was patented in 1820 by architect Ithiel Town and later in 1835 as Town’s Lattice Truss. The builder of this bridge is unknown, but is named after Civil War veteran Robert Trusal who lived nearby. The bridge is also known as Dice’s Covered Bridge after nearby property owner Thomas Dice. In 1979 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge is the center of a small park area and is in very good condition. The bridge allows for pictures from various angles, including from the modern bridge that bypasses it. Standing on the modern bridge, I turned my attention upstream. In the distance I could see the companion bridge: Harmon Covered Bridge.

Standing on the modern bridge , I looked upstream and spotted in the distance the next bridge I was heading towards. Located roughly a half mile away was the Harmon Covered Bridge.

Harmon Covered Bridge
Returning to Five Points Road I turned right and continued along it until I reached Harmon (also listed as Harmon’s) Covered Bridge. The bridge is in a small park-like area along Donahue Road, but the land surrounding it is clearly marked “No Trespassing.” This bridge also has a small historical marker nearby that explains the history of the bridge.

The Harmon Covered Bridge is a single span that crosses over Plum Creek. Having a length of forty-five feet, the covered bridge was erected in 1910 with a Town Truss design and bypassed in 1984. The bridge was built by John Carnahan and was named after Civil War veteran J.S. Harmon, who served imprisonment at the infamous Andersonville Prison. The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

The bridge is in great condition, though the inside shows some graffiti. The area around Harmon Covered Bridge allows for photographs from most angles. Only the western side prevents photos from being taken due to the private property.

Harmon Covered Bridge
One thing I did find interesting as I explored this bridge was the noise created by the wind blowing through it. Standing inside the bridge there was a high-pitched whistling noise that is created every time the wind was blowing. It was definitely eerie sounding until I got used to it.

When visiting, I ask that you be respectful of the area and its surroundings.

Note: Though the bridges are closest to the small community of Willet, the address for them shows up as Creekside, a town to the southwest of the two bridges. .

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