Just a few miles down the road from my home sits one of my community’s four remaining covered bridges.
Mt. Olive Covered Bridge dates to 1875 but it has been closed to motor vehicle traffic for many years. The county engineer actually rerouted the road around it, preserving the historic structure for pedestrians to enjoy.
People pass by this bridge every day but probably don’t know some interesting things about it.
First of all, the bridge is located on Mt. Olive Road which is just a township road today but was once a major artery for travelers from Marietta to Chillicothe.
Also, it was designed and built by a local engineer named George Washington Pilcher who was considered one of the best in the region. He famously contributed to the construction of Manasseh Cutler Hall on the Ohio University campus.
At the time of construction, the area around this bridge was owned by a family named Grandstaff so some called it by that name for many years. When I ran the county visitors center I would occasionally encounter someone who called it the Grandstaff Bridge and it always made me smile.
Age and vandals had taken their toll by the early 2000s when the county received a grant to have it restored. As part of the project, the natural wood bridge was painted this very pretty green – a suggestion of my mother’s.
One more picture- this is my favorite image of the day.