Himmel’s Church Covered Bridge

Himmel’s Church Covered Bridge

It was a beautiful day for a drive, so I decided it would be a great day to explore another part of the state. While I had explored the regions surrounding it, the tract bordered by the Susquehanna River, Interstate 81, and Route 61 had been mostly avoided. The only time I had ventured into this region resulted in being lost and passing through the same intersection more times than I could count.

I was a little hesitant when my parents decided this would be the region we would be exploring.

 “Surely there is something you want to photograph.”

The challenge had me driving through the rolling valleys of southern Northumberland County. As I drove along the Schwaben Creek Valley, I shared the other story I had heard about the valley – the Wolfman’s Grave. Having been told the story by a coworker many years ago, I told my parents about it and though we watched for a phantom wolf, we failed to see it. Note: more about the Wolfman’s Grave can be found here: The Wolfman’s Grave.

Driving along Schwaben Creek Road, we passed through the collection of homes known as Rebuck and a short distance later saw the Himmel Church on my left. Turning onto Covered Bridge Road I passed the church and the old cemetery opposite it and knew I was going to stop after visiting the covered bridge. I crested the hill at the church and could see the covered bridge a short distance away. It is the southern most of Northumberland County’s covered bridges and the drive into this section of the state was definitely worth it. Note: On maps it shows the bridge is on Covered Bridge Road, but most sources state the bridge is on Middle Creek Road.

Parking in the lot next to the bridge, I got out and studied the bridge and its surroundings. On the side of the road where I was parked, there were a number of ball fields and on the opposite was a picnic grove that was a part of Himmel’s Church.

I studied the Himmel’s Church Covered Bridge – also known as Himmel’s and Rebuck – the paint scheme was one of the more unique ones I have encountered. The boards are the typical red, but it had vertical battens painted white. As I walked over to the bridge, I could see that Schwaben Creek was barely flowing on this warm autumn afternoon.

Built in 1874 by Peter Keefer, the bridge was refurbished in 1983. Erected with a Kingpost design, the covered bridge has a length of forty-three feet. The walls of the bridge do not go completely to the top, but covers about two-thirds of the structure. Note: For some unknown reason, most websites state that the bridge was refurbished in 1973, but regional newspapers state it was refurbished in 1983.

As I photographed the bridge, I was amazed by the lack of traffic – the only vehicle I spotted during the hour spent photographing it was my own. I could hear an occasional car in the distance, but none passed through the bridge during my visit.

I finished photographing the bridge and packed up, leaving the covered bridge hidden in the silence of the Schwaben Creek Valley.

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