Since their construction in the late 1800s, the covered bridges of Bucks County have symbolized the quiet rural life in the area. Bucks County was once home to more than fifty covered bridges. The 1930s brought the demolition of several of Bucks County’s covered bridges. And neglect, floods, arson, vandalism, and progress threaten the remaining bridges.
The covered bridge tour makes a large circle through Bucks County and is planned so you can start at any one of the bridges. It is possible to make the trip in one day but since it is 90 miles long, and will bring you over some rural unmarked back roads, it makes the most sense to break up the trip into segments. It takes you through some of the most gorgeous farmland countryside I've ever seen.
In the interests of time, we only visited a three of the covered bridges: the Van Sant Covered Bridge, the Loux Covered Bridge and the Cabin Run Covered Bridge.
Van Sant Covered Bridge
The Van Sant covered bridge is thought to be one of the most haunted spots in Pennsylvania. Many paranormal investigators have spent late evenings here gathering data. Throughout the bridge cold spots have been felt, cries heard, and apparitions spotted. So why all the paranormal activity?
Many urban legends haunt this bridge. According to one legend, a man murdered a woman and her child on the bridge and now she haunts the area mourning the loss of her child. Others think it's the murderer who's still hanging around, literally, since local ghost hunters claim to have spotted an apparition hanging by a noose from the rafters.
Other local legend's say the woman drowned her children herself, after giving birth at a young age and out of wedlock. This particular legend is fairly common folklore for many rural covered bridges, which are also often called "cry-baby bridges," because people have heard the cries of a baby as they passed over the bridge. Nothing so dramatic occurred during our visit, but perhaps the sound of the baby was obscured by our closed car windows and the hum of the car's air conditioning.
|Photo barrowed from Bridgehunter.com. I usually don't like to "borrow" photos, but my camera was on the wrong setting, |
and did I think to check it? No, not until it was too late.
This is one of the few all white bridges in Bucks County.
Cabin Run Covered Bridge
|Photo borrowed from Packedsuitcase.com.|
Where did the red color originate for the covered bridges? Paint was homemade in the early 1800s. The red oxide of iron was a coloring pigment that was commonly found in soil. By mixing red oxide of iron, skimmed milk, lime, and linseed oil, a red paint was produced that was well suited to paint barns and covered bridges.
Websites: Several websites offer information and directions about the covered bridges of Bucks County. Before you go, print out the directions from the Bucks County Tourism Bureau (http://www.visitbuckscounty.com/things-to-do/planning-ideas/covered-bridges/).
You may want to check out the Bucks County Covered Bridge Society at http://www.buckscountycbs.org/tour-the-bridges.html.
I found this blog about the covered bridges of Bucks County that provides extensive photos of the various bridges: http://www.davidhanauer.com/buckscounty/coveredbridges/