Martinsville Road Covered Bridge

It’s called Martinsville Road Covered Bridge and it has been on this spot since 1871. It was updated several years ago to accommodate modern traffic so you can drive through this one and people do. Several motorists passed through in the short time I was there.

The area is positively picturesque.

Fun fact about this bridge: it was built by a fellow named Zimri Wall. In addition to having a fantastic name, Mr. Wall co-founded the Champion Bridge Company a year later.

This is one of the oldest bridge companies in America and they consider this their first work. They’re based in nearby Wilmington, Ohio and a number of their bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Want to visit? It’s in Clinton County along a gorgeous route you can follow between Wilmington and Hillsboro. Find it at 39°19’47” N, 83°50’06” W.

Root Covered Bridge

Sometimes a community recognizes the historic value of landmarks they have outgrown. That was the case in Washington County back in 1975 when a new road was built to bypass the Root Covered Bridge.

Some places might have torn down this old bridge but they instead had it added to the National Register of Historic Places, celebrating its beauty, charm and value as a landmark. Built in 1878, it was named for William Root and his family who founded the nineteenth century community Root Town. At one time there was a mill, store and post office.

Today, there’s a bridge, a barn and a couple of houses. The bridge is closed to motor vehicle traffic but open to pedestrians. It’s quite scenic and well worth the short trip off of State Route 555, a windy road that is better know by car clubs and motorcyclists as the Triple Nickel.

There are nine covered bridges in Washington County so be sure to check out the others by following this driving tour. Read about another bridge I visited in this area by clicking here.

Carnegie Library of Xenia

Steel magnate Andrew Carnegie built close to 1,700 libraries in his lifetime. You’ll see a lot of them still used in towns and cities across America. I found one in Xenia while out exploring last weekend.

Carnegie spent about $40 million on his libraries. He believed that libraries were the best gift he could offer a community as it gave equal access to self improvement to all. Some of these libraries are still used for their original function but many have been repurposed into events centers, stores and restaurants. This one, sadly, is just empty.

There had been a revitalization project underway a few years ago but there doesn’t seem to be any movement afoot right now.

The building dates back to 1906 when it opened with a gala affair attended by local social and political leaders. The library eventually outgrew the space this beautiful building offered and a new library was constructed closer to downtown. It was used for storage for a while and then changed hands before eventually being sold to the county. As far as I can tell it has been unused all these years.

Volunteers formed a group called Carnegie Historic District that got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In 2017, the library made headlines for efforts to reimagine the building but things have gone quiet and I can’t tell if there’s anything still happening on that front.

It’s a gorgeous Classical Revival with a stained glass dome and ionic columns. I hate to see it empty but certainly understand why. These types of revitalization efforts are costly, time consuming and a real challenge to fund. Here’s hoping they are able to breathe new life into this exquisite piece of history.