Hidden among the rolling hills of Sugar Valley is one of the prettiest covered bridges in Pennsylvania. Of course, Logan Mills Covered Bridge holds a special place for me because it was one of the first covered bridges I can remember visiting as a child. Growing up, my parents often visited the Sugar Valley region to buy produce and purchase homemade baked goods.
Memories of those journeys came to mind as I turned onto West Valley Road and headed westward out of Loganton. Driving roughly four and a half miles took me through the farmlands of southern Clinton County. I turned onto Logan Mills Road and descended the hill towards Fishing Creek and the covered bridge was soon in sight. The single-span bridge allows travelers to cross over Fishing Creek, which flows the entire length of the valley.
Arriving at the bridge, I passed by the old mill, which gives the community its name, passed through the bridge and found a safe place to park where I was not blocking the road or parking in someone’s yard. As I got out of the vehicle, I could hear laughter and could see a group of children playing in the stream near the bridge. The other thing I could hear was the sound of a horse-drawn buggy getting closer. I scrambled to get my camera as it entered the bridge from the far side – the sound of the horse’s hoof beats echoed as it passed through. It was already through and had passed me before I was ready.
Erected in 1874, the Logan Mills Covered Bridge spans sixty feet and features a Queenpost design. The bridge is unique for having a shallow Queenpost design – this means the supporting arch on the side of the bridge only goes halfway up the side of the bridge, rather than the whole way to the top. This shallow design actually makes the bridge less stable than bridges featuring the normal Queenpost design.
The bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in August 1979. It was rebuilt in early 2002 and reopened to traffic in 2004.
Next to the bridge is the old gristmill that gives its name to the community. The gristmill was built in 1840 by Colonel Anthony Klecknerm who founded the community and named it after Chief Logan. The gristmill was operated by a number of owners until the 1960s when it closed down. Water to run the mill’s two turbine wheels was diverted from Fishing Creek. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.
The children were still splashing in the water when I left the bridge and its serene location hidden deep in the heart of Sugar Valley.
Note: While Logan Mills Covered Bridge is the only covered bridge erected in Sugar Valley. I’ve come across mentioned of another covered bridge which existed on East Winter Road. This bridge, which does not seem to have a name, spanned Fishing Creek between Eastville and Carroll. It was also a single-span bridge with a Queen’s Truss. When it was built and how long it was used is not known, but it appears it has gone by 1938.