Kintersburg Covered Bridge

Kintersburg Covered Bridge

As I crested a hill on Tamona Road I could see the bridge on the right side of the road, where the fields met the forest. I turned onto Musser Road and in seconds was parked on the grassy area in front of the bridge. The bridge is located east of the community of Home in Indiana County, near a collection of buildings known as Kintersburg. The address for the bridge itself states that it is a part of Marion Center, a community a little farther north on Route 119.

I was not the first one to arrive at the bridge that morning. A lady and her son were walking across the bridge as I got out of my vehicle. We passed greetings as I approached the bridge. I paused at the edge of the entrance; though I had just watched them safely cross through the bridge, the large gaps in the floor stopped me in my tracks. The floor may be safe, but there was no way I was personally going to walk across the bridge.

Built in 1877, the Kintersburg Covered Bridge was named after local shopkeeper Isaac Kinter. The bridge spans Crooked Creek with a length of sixty-two feet. While the bridge was bypassed with a modern bridge in 1977, it remains open to foot traffic. In August 1979, the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Note: 1977 seems to be the date most sources agree that the bridge was bypassed, though some places state it was bypassed in 1974.

Erected by J.S. Fleming with a Howe Truss design, the Kintersburg Covered Bridge is one of four bridges with this design that still exist within the borders of Pennsylvania. The Howe Truss was designed in 1840 and patented in 1850 by William Howe. The Howe Truss design gained popularity in the New England states, but failed to have the same popularity outside the region.

Note: Most sites and books state that there are five Howe Truss Covered Bridges in Pennsylvania. However there are only four that use this design. While the bridge at Ralph Stover State Park uses the Howe Truss design, it is not a covered bridge, but should be listed as a Box Pony Bridge. A Pony Truss allows traffic to cross the bridge, but lacks the overhead beams and roof. A Box Pony Truss means that the trusses are within enclosed structures.

I crossed Crooked Creek over the modern bridge to take some pictures from the southern side of the bridge. From this vantage point I could see that some wooden supports had been erected near the stone abutments for additional support.

The bridge is in great condition overall and is located in a beautiful location. The bridge is safe enough to walk across, but the large gaps between the boards unnerved me enough that I still would not walk through it.

There are plenty of opportunities to capture the beauty of the Kintersburg Covered Bridge. From the grassy area on the north side of the bridge, which I personally think is the best view of the bridge, to the modern bridge that now crosses Crooked Creek to the dirt road on the southern side of the bridge. Each angle provides a unique view of the bridge. With that being stated, there is one thing that takes away from the beauty of the bridge  — the additional supports. The supports look like pallets turned on their side and in my opinion take away from the beauty of the bridge.

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

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