The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Covered bridge series

March 12, 2009

Suspicious fire claimed county’s ‘best covered bridge’

Old Plank Road bridge stood near Trumbull County line


In June 1963 someone attempted to set the bridge on fire by igniting oil-soaked rags left in the middle of the floor. The fire was reported and no serious damage suffered. In 1969 the county highway department put a new roof and siding on the bridge, improved the approaches and straightened the frame. David Weir, who was county engineer at the time, declared it was “probably the best covered bridge in the county.”

In early September 1970, the bridge burned to the abutments in a 2 a.m. fire of suspicious origin. A strong odor of gasoline was reported by the first to respond to the scene.

A very small portion of this bridge was preserved, however. When the renovation work was done in 1969, Weir had workers salvage the best timbers and siding and used them to construct a covered bridge interior along one wall of his office.

The bridge still exists in Weir’s former office, now a judges’ storage room on the second floor of the Ashtabula County Courthouse Annex.

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