Along the Way: Harmon’s and Trusal Covered Bridges

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Harmon’s Covered Bridge (left insert) and Trusal’s Covered Bridge on the right

Two of Indiana County’s covered bridges are located along Five Points Road within a half mile of each other, just east of the small community of Willet. Although the closest community is Willet, the address for them shows up as Creekside, a town to the southwest of the two bridges.

I had left the Kintersburg Covered Bridge and made the mistake of listening to the GPS unit to get to the first of the two bridges. Rather than staying on the paved roads, it took me across some rutted, muddy roads that appeared to be used mainly by farming equipment.

I was glad to see the first of the two bridges appeared.

Located along Donahue Road, the Harmon Covered Bridge was erected with a single span and has a length of forty-five feet. The bridge, which crosses over the South Branch of Plum Creek, is the youngest of Indiana County’s four remaining covered bridges. A historical marker stands guard at one end of the bridge, explaining its history. The Harmon Covered Bridge was erected in 1910 with a Town Truss design, also known as a Town’s Lattice Truss, a design patented in 1820 by architect Ithiel Town. The bridge was bypassed in 1984, but remains open to foot traffic. The bridge was built by John Carnahan and was named after Civil War veteran J.S. Harmon, who had spent time in the infamous Andersonville Prison before returning to the area. In 1979, the bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The bridge is in great condition, though it has been the victim of vandalism – there is some graffiti on the posts inside the bridge. The farmland surrounding the Harmon Covered Bridge allows for photographs from most angles.

One thing I did find interesting as I photographed the bridge was a strange noise created by the wind as it passed through the bridge. Standing inside the bridge, there was a high-pitched whistling noise that can be heard as the wind passed through the bridge. It was not paranormal, but it was definitely eerie sounding until I got used to it.

Returning to Five Points Road I turned left and then another left on Trusal Road. The bridge is in a small park-like area with a historical marker nearby explaining the history of the covered bridge.

This was the Trusal Covered Bridge, located a little over a mile east of Willet. Trusal Covered Bridge, located along the road of the same name, crosses over the South Branch of Plum Creek. The covered bridge was bypassed by a modern bridge in 1990, but remains open to foot traffic.

Built in 1870, the bridge has a single span and is the shortest of Indiana County’s covered bridges having a length of forty-one feet. The Trusal Covered Bridge also has a Town Truss design like its companion bridge a half-mile upstream. The builder of this bridge is unknown, but takes its name from Civil War veteran Robert Trusal, who lived nearby. The bridge is also known as Dice’s Covered Bridge after Thomas Dice, who also lived nearby. In 1979 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

While the Harmon Covered Bridge had graffiti, the Trusal Covered Bridge did not show any signs of vandalism at the time of my visit. The bridge can be photographed from many different angles and the surrounding farmlands place it in an ideal setting. While visiting the bridges, I had them to myself and there was no traffic at either location, so I was able to set up the camera on the modern bridge without having to worry about passing vehicles.

After I finished photographing the bridge I reluctantly packed my gear and left the quiet, peaceful area, knowing that I would definitely be returning in the future.

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