I followed the winding Humbert Road southward from the collection of buildings known as Kingwood towards one of Somerset County’s covered bridges. Having rarely visited Somerset County, the beautiful day beckoned me to head southward into the Laurel Highlands to explore. The day had been spent searching for pieces of regional history and my final planned stop for the day’s journey was the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge.
I quickly found a place to park and walked over to investigate the bridge.
Also known as the Faidley Covered Bridge, it sits at the intersection of Humbert and Covered Bridge Roads. Having a double span, and featuring a Burr Truss with a king-post design, the bridge stretches one hundred and twenty-five feet over Laurel Hill Creek. The bridge was originally erected in 1891 and was rehabilitated in 1991, which added two steel beams to support local traffic passing through it. It was during the rehabilitation a concrete pier, encased in stone, was added near the bridge’s mid-way point. The covered bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 10, 1980.
Note: There are a number of online sources that claim the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge features a Burr arch with a queen-post design. As I studied the covered bridge, it is definitely a Burr arch with a king-post design.
Although it is the only covered bridge that still exists in the immediate area , the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge was not the only covered bridge to exist nearby. Approximately one mile upstream from the Humbert Covered Bridge crossing there once existed another bridge known as the Upper Humbert Covered Bridge. Little has been recorded about this bridge other than it also had a king-post design and pre-1950 three piers were added beneath it for support. In August 1969 the bridge was a victim of arson and was not replaced.
Before I left the covered bridge, I scanned the immediate area. The locale was the perfect setting for a ghost story and my mind wandered to a story I had recently discovered in The Republic (Meyersdale, Pa). In the October 26, 1950 article “Stories Reveal Hauntings Down in Turkeyfoot Region,” there is mention of a ghost that once haunted Humbert Road. Note: While the newspaper article does not reveal the stretch of Humbert Road that was haunted, the woods around the Lower Humbert Covered Bridge would be the perfect location for a ghost story.
According to the article, the ghost of a young girl once walked along Humbert Road. The figure had a distinctive appearance – it either had no head or possibly had a small, deformed head, depending upon the version of the story. Word of mouth claimed the girl was an illegitimate child who had been abused by her father who had eventually killed her. After her death, she was buried along the Humbert Road and she was known to haunt the location where her remote stone stood. Her ghost stopped appearing in the area when her stone was destroyed by a road crew doing construction there. Note: I find it interesting that the story reverses the “typical” ghost story. The ghost vanished after her stone was destroyed, rather than appearing because it was destroyed.
Not knowing where to start looking for the haunted stretch of road, I packed up my camera and headed towards home.