The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Covered bridge series

March 21, 2009

Bridges over Rock Creek failed test of time

Rock Creek, the waterway, not the village, has hosted at least four covered bridges in its time, but with the exception of the well-documented twin-lane bridge that stood on Route 45 from 1832 to 1949, little is known of the other numbered bridges.

In addition to the bridge on Route 322 in Orwell Township, there were bridges at:

Callendar Road (east). This bridge was built in 1870 and stood in Rome Township. It fell victim to the construction of Roaming Shores in the 1960s.

Bridge number 35-04-24, the 90-foot-long structure, would have been a nice addition to the county’s collection of legacy bridges, for it was a Howe diamond design. Located about two miles southeast of Rock Creek Village, the bridge was purchased for $1 by the Roaming Rock Shores Association. The lake created by impounding Rock Creek flooded Callendar Road, where the bridge crossed the stream.

The group had indicated plans to move the bridge and use it in some capacity in the new development. It was ultimately decided that the cost of relocation was too great, and in early December 1966, when the creek rose to within a couple of feet of the bridge deck, the structure was intentionally burned.

A covered bridge also crossed Rock Creek on Windsor Road. Bridge number 35-04-27 was located in Orwell Township, just west of the Colebrook Township line. Photographs of the bridge taken shortly before it was replaced with a steel span, suggest it was about the length of the Callendar Road bridge.

The March 1968 Ashtabula County Historical Society Quarterly Bulletin published a photograph of the bridge as it was being prepared for a move in 1906. The caption noted that the bridge previously stood on New Hudson Road, where the Roman arch reinforced concrete bridge was built.

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