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


“Mrs. Thompson suffered slight cuts to the face and hands. ... A diamond, set in a ring which she was wearing, valued at $700, was lost.”

Temporary repairs were made to the structure until a new steel span could be built. And the diamond? To the best of our knowledge, it was never recovered, engulfed by the quicksand and waters of Pymatuning Creek.

Orwell pair

Two other covered bridges stood farther west on Route 322. Heading west from the Wick bridge, the first one that a late-19th century traveler would have encountered stood across Rock Creek, west of Colebrook, in Orwell Township. This bridge, number 35-04-38, is somewhat of a mystery. There’s no date of construction nor date of removal, although a news article of April 23, 1927, in the Gazette announced that county commissioners planned to build a new bridge on State Route 15 (later Route 322) over Rock Creek, east of Orwell.

The second bridge is better documented. It crossed the Grand River between Orwell and Windsor. It was built in 1884 and replaced with a steel span in 1911. The bridge was a Howe truss with a span of 112.3 feet and length of 116.5. feet.

As with the bridge over Rock Creek, this area was prone to flooding. A particularly severe flood in 1908 produced this story of thrilling escape filed in the Ashtabula County Historical Society’s archives:

“Windsor, Feb. 19, 1908 — What might have proved their last ride was taken by Mr. Lepper and son last Saturday. These men are Bloomfield residents and had been to Windsor and were returning home by way of Orwell. Grand River was rising rapidly, and they were warned not to undertake going through the water, but they were determined to make the attempt, and on reaching a point just before the ascent to the bridge where the current was very swift, the horse fell.

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