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.
I spent yesterday’s lunch break out adventuring in the Autumn sunshine. The wind was enough to knock you down but the sky and puffy clouds more than made up for it. While many trees were bare, what remained of the foliage was lovely. I wasn’t exactly equipped for adventure in my ballet flats with no socks (what was I thinking?) and no camera, just a phone, but made the best of it anyway.
My first destination was the Mt Olive Covered Bridge. The road was routed around this bridge many years ago and the county used grant funding to rehab it a while back. It’s one of just four left in our county and the only one that’s painted green. Vandals are starting to do harm here again. It had been reasonably clean but there’s graffiti again. For the life of me, I’ll never understand the compulsion to damage public property, especially historic sites.
Then I went up the hill to Mt. Olive Church. It’s a simple country church but that’s what makes it one of my favorites in this community. There’s beauty in the modest simplicity.
I haven’t been inside for years and would love to take my camera inside one day.
When I was a kid, I visited the cemetery with my grandparents a few times on Memorial Day. Some of our people are buried here and they always decorated the graves. It’s peaceful up on that hill and very pretty. Not a bad place to be buried, if you like to think about that sort of thing.
If time allowed I would have wandered the cemetery a little more. Alas, the clock was ticking and work was calling my name. On the way back it occurred to me that I should do this sort of thing more often. Lunch is often reserved for reading or running errands. Sometimes I just play on Facebook or Pinterest to kill time. Why wouldn’t I go for a little adventure when the sun shines and there are things to be seen?