The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Covered bridge series

March 21, 2009

Covered-bridge adventures along Rt. 322

Expensive diamond ring lost in crash at Wayne Township bridge


“He went down (he lived in Wick) and found a chain padlocked across the bridge’s entrance. He took a 6-by-6 (inch) timber from the new bridge and gave the padlock a couple of good licks and dropped the lock and chain into the middle of the creek. There was no further trouble.”

Some sources date the Wick bridge to 1867, which was a banner year for new covered bridges in Ashtabula County: No fewer than 13 were erected that year.

The Wick bridge was replaced with a steel truss bridge in 1931, 14 years after Route 322 (Route 15 at the time) was paved.

A newspaper article from the summer of August 1930 states replacement of the bridge was a priority because an automobile had crashed through its side the prior month. The story is one of epic misfortune, dramatically recorded in a newspaper article published July 29, 1930:

“Mrs. J.P. Thompson, Titusville, Pa., was slightly injured, narrowly escaping death, a diamond set valued at $700 is lost, an automobile was burned, and a hole twenty feet by ten was torn in the covered bridge over the Pymatuning river near Wick Saturday evening as a result of an automobile accident.

“After striking the side of the bridge, Mrs. Thompson jumped from the car just as it burst into flames and plunged over the side, the front wheels resting in the river bottom.

“Mrs. Thompson had been in Cleveland to visit her sister in a hospital and was returning to her home in Titusville. Apparently losing control of the machine as she entered the bridge, the car struck the plank siding which is ten feet high, tearing a hole in the side of the old covered bridge nearly twenty feet long. The machine balanced on the edge, and as Mrs. Thompson leaped out of the machine, it burst into flames and plunged into the river. All but the front wheels of the machine, which were beneath the water, burned.

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Covered bridge series
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