Along the Way: Barronvale Covered Bridge

Barronvale Covered Bridge, New Lexington

Leaving King’s Covered Bridge, I drove a short distance west on Route 653 before turning right onto Ream Road. Following it to the intersection with Covered Bridge Road, the sign at the junction informed me to turn right and upon turning, I could see the covered bridge a short distance on the left side of the road. I was immediately taken in by the bridge as it was one of the prettiest I had encountered on my journeys.

The parking was limited on both sides of the bridge, but I parked near the western entrance of the bridge and stepped out of the vehicle to explore the bridge and its surroundings. The Barronvale Covered Bridge spans Laurel Hill Creek, almost a mile upstream from King’s Covered Bridge. Note: more about King’s Covered Bridge can be found here: .King’s Covered Bridge.

Like its neighbor to the south, the Barronvale Covered Bridge has been bypassed by a modern road, but unlike King’s Covered Bridge this road was not as busy as Route 653. I walked onto the modern bridge to photograph it before continuing back to the place I had parked on the western bank of Laurel Hill Creek. Walking through it, I noted it was erected with a Burr arch with a multiple king-post design. The covered bridge is one hundred and sixty-two feet long with two spans, making it the longest covered bridge in Somerset County and one of the longest within Pennsylvania’s borders. It also has a single support in the middle of the bridge on the piece of land that once separated the mill race from Laurel Hill Creek. Note: The longest covered bridge in Pennsylvania can be found here: Pomeroy-Academia Covered Bridge.

When constructed in 1830, the bridge crossed both Laurel Hill Creek and the mill race for Kooser’s Mill. Cassimer Cramer, who built the bridge, erected it using a multiple king-post design – fifteen years later, the Burr arch was added to the structure to strengthen it.

In 1963, the bridge was bypassed by a modern bridge and at the same time the modern bridge was being built, the covered bridge was rebuilt. In 1980, the covered bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge was turned over to the Middle Creek Township in 2006. At the time, there was consideration of connecting the King’s and Barronvale Covered Bridges with a mile-long walking path, but the plan never came to fruition.

As I walked back through the bridge, I noticed a car pulling into the lot. It was the same family who had waited for me to finish at King’s Covered Bridge. We talked for a moment and I discovered they were doing a covered bridge tour of the county. While we encountered one another at the two covered bridges, this was the last we were going to meet as they were headed east and I was headed southward.

I wished them safe travels as I got in the vehicle and headed southward to explore other portions of Somerset County.

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