The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Covered bridge series

March 12, 2009

Windsor crossings

Alderman School bridge gave students a short-cut to class

(Continued)



The Cox Road span had a short life. By 1890 the bridge was closed to wagon traffic, but because it was an important conduit for students who attended Alderman School, remained open to pedestrian traffic.

The photograph in the society’s collection shows a woman, perhaps Ada Alderman, and two men standing on a wooden incline leading to the bridge’s portal. The bridge rests on a free-standing abutment of cut stones. What appears to be a second abutment of similar construction is at the far left of the image.

However a second image in the society’s collection and purported to be of the Alderman Bridge, shows a side view from a distance and suggests there was at least one pier set aside Phelps Creek to support the Town lattice bridge. The height of the pier and depth of the valley appear too low for the image to be of Wiswell Road.

This bridge had disappeared from the scene by 1895 and was replaced with a swinging foot bridge. It appears as if the builders used the covered bridge’s abutments and pier upon which to construct this bridge. Alice Bliss, who wrote extensively on Ashtabula County history during the middle of the 20th century, wrote that youngsters who crossed the bridge treated it as a playground and made it swing back and forth.

This action eventually weakend the bridge and rendered it unsafe for even the relatively light traffic of school children.

The youngsters paid dearly for their fun. With the bridge out of commission, they had to take the long route to school, a trip of several miles.

In addition to its connection to education, the Alderman Road bridge was associated with a sugar bush owned by Elsworth Alderman. The sugar house was located in the valley just below the bridge. In 2003 Marian Alderman interviewed Windsor native Richard Holley, who said Bart Harshman, another Windsor resident, told him his first experience as a sawyer was to harvest Elsworth Alderman’s grove of maple trees from the valley after Alderman quit the maple syrup business.

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