Covered Bridge Fest approaching
The 43nd-annual Washington and Greene Counties Covered Bridge Festival will be held Sept. 21-22 with events and fairs being held at 10 different sites throughout both Pennsylvania counties.
Local sites include the Hanover-McClurg Covered Bridge at the Hanover Township Park in Florence, the Krepps Bridge on Covered Bridge Road in Mount Pleasant Township, and the Pine Bank Bridge at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historical Village in Avella.
Admission and parking are free.
Each of the 10 sites offers a different array of activities, including handmade arts and crafts, home-style foods, historical re-enactments, crafting demonstrations and entertainment.
The Hanover McClurg Bridge, built in 1880, once spanned Kings Creek on Devil’s Den Road and was informally known as the “Devil’s Den Bridge,” but after preservation efforts began, it was learned it was officially named after the McClurg family, who owned the land bordering the bridge.
More than 20 years ago, the bridge was purchased by the park board for $1, and volunteers moved it, piece by piece, to its location in the park, where it spans a gully.
The Krepps Bridge Festival is sponsored by the Hickory United Presbyterian Church and features live entertainment on stage both days.
The event also features homemade foods, an antique tractor show, antique and classic car and truck show, children’s activities, vendors and re-enactors from the American exploration and Civil War periods.
There will be an outdoor church service at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 22.
For information, visit the church’s website at hickoryup.org or call (724) 356-3428.
The Pine Bank Bridge, built in 1871, is the oldest surviving covered bridge in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The museum includes a 19th century living history village with a one-room school, blacksmith shop, church and log houses, where visitors can see re-enactors forge iron, make traditional open hearth dishes, spinning wool into yarn or “teaching” at the schoolhouse.
The museum also includes a 16th century walled American Indian village, where visitors can visit a wigwam, a traditional “Three Sisters” garden and hunting and fishing camp.
Hands-on opportunities include using an atlatl, a prehistoric spear thrower; pounding corn into meal with a mortar; cracking nuts with a nutting stone; and drilling holes with a pump drill.
There also are exhibits on horse-drawn equipment, harness racing and country store memorabilia. The rockshelter is a prehistoric campsite that dates back 16,000 years.
For information, visit www.heinzhistorycenter.org or call (724) 587-3412.
Other bridges included in the festival include the Brownlee Bridge in McGuffey Community Park, Washington County; Carmicheals Bridge in Carmicheals, Greene County; Ebenezer Bridge and Henry Bridge, Mingo Creek County Park, Washington County; Hughes Bridge, Amwell Township, Washington County; White Bridge, Garads Fort, Greene County; and Wyit Sprowls Bridge, East Finely Township Park, Washington County.
There are a total of 23 covered bridges in Washington County and seven in Greene County. Pennsylvania has a total of 208 covered bridges still standing.