Note: Although this is a part of a series, each article can be read individually and in any order. Stops on this journey across Ashtabula County, Ohio include: Mechanicsville, Doyle Road, Giddings Road, Netcher Road, and South Denmark Road Covered Bridges.
I finished my stop at the Giddings Road Covered Bridge and turned southward on Giddings Road. At the intersection with Jones Road, I turned left and then a right onto Garrett Road. Following it southward, I made the left onto South Denmark Road and an immediate left onto Netcher Road.
The elderly couple I had met earlier were pacing back and forth within the bridge and I parked along the road behind their vehicle. I got out and stared at one of Ashtabula County’s newer covered bridges.
“What do you think of it?” he asked as they approached. I could tell by the tone of his voice what his opinion of it was.
“It’s different,” I answered truthfully. While it retained elements of a traditional covered bridge, the designer and builder created something different and unique in its construction.
“Different is a good word,” he sighed. After they left, I turned my attention to the Netcher Road Covered Bridge. I wasn’t sure the exact reason why he didn’t like this particular covered bridge, so I set about to explore it for myself.
As I approached, the unique overhang at the top of the approach caught my attention. The boards at the top of the entrance reminded me of a picket fence turned upside-down. The exterior boards run vertically, rather than the tradition horizontal design and the supporting arch is hinged, something I had never encountered before. Along both sides of the bridge, a lengthy opening in the walls allows light to filter inside. Spanning over Mill Creek with a length of 110 feet, the bridge is painted the traditional red with white highlights.
The bridge is stated to be an inverted Haupt truss with a wooden arch and the bridge itself is described being Neo-Victorian. While that is the description in most places, I personally like the description that is in the July 4, 1999 edition of the Ashtabula Star Beacon (Ashtabula, Oh) – Mark Todd describes the bridge in “Creating the Netcher Road Covered Bridge” as “having gingerbread-style trim and painted a lively red and tan.” Note: I’m assuming the original painting scheme was red and tan, but on my visit, it was clearly a red with white paint trim.
Netcher Road Covered Bridge was erected in 1998 and after Netcher Road was moved slightly so motorists could use the new bridge, it was opened to traffic the following year.
As I stood studying the bridge, I could not discover why my friends had not liked the bridge. My guess – and that’s all it is – was they did not like the Neo-Victorian design, but I would not have the chance to ask them.
Pushing the thoughts aside, I finished photographing Netcher Road Covered Bridge before I returned to South Denmark Road to visit the final covered bridge on this trip.
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