Covered Garden Bridges Have Long Lifespans

By: Kathy Moran

For the past two centuries garden bridges!/a>, especially covered bridges have sparked fascination, imagination, and admiration across the nation. Once simply necessary modes of crossing waterways, they have ascended to legendary status. Nothing stirs up nostalgia like these bearers of bygone bucolic bliss. Romanticized and idolized, they symbolize a more innocent, idyllic time, to which we all wish we could somehow return – even if we were never really there. As is the case with any icon, the covered bridge is replete with myth and mystery. In fact, ever since the first one appeared, speculation has been rampant about the reason for covering bridges. Some people said that it was to make them resemble barns, which would put animals at ease while crossing them. Others thought that it was to keep horses from being spooked by the water’s rushing current, and its gleaming, bouncing flashes of sunlight. Then, there were those who maintained, perhaps facetiously, that the bridges were covered to keep unsuspecting travelers from seeing what kind of town they were approaching, until it was too late to turn back. One bit of conjecture was that the coverings were meant to keep snow off the bridges; however, this idea is contradicted by the existence of signs designating tolls for horse-drawn sleighs, as well as some towns’ records of “snowing” the bridges to facilitate their crossings. There was also a contingent that insisted the coverings were put there simply for aesthetics, as a means of justifying the tolls. Alas and alack! Folklore’s more fun than fact. The purely practical reason for covering the bridges was to preserve their structural integrity, as constant exposure to the elements – especially moisture – would cause them to quickly rot. Interestingly, however, the first covered bridge – the Permanent Bridge, built by Timothy Palmer, over the Schuylkill River, in Philadelphia – was not designed as such. Begun in 1800, it was nearing completion in 1804, when Richard Peters, a judge from Philadelphia, suggested that a cover would protect its trusses and prolong its life. The cover was designed and built, and the first covered bridge opened for travel on January 1, 1805. Today, while many people think that the era of covered bridges is long gone, others are discovering that a new generation is just beginning, at The best part is that, instead of being scattered throughout the country in obscure locations, these covered bridges can be customized, in three simple steps, for your own creek, stream, or walkway. Unlike the originals, which continue to disappear, a covered bridge from, in your choice of treated pine or Dura-Temp siding, will last indefinitely. Available with or without latticed windows, in a variety of sizes and options, it will instantly bring an air of enchantment and old-fashioned charm to your landscape. Visit today, and bring back the beauty of yesterday, with a captivating covered bridge, or browse our website to find other garden bridges and outdoor furniture. For more information, call 888-293-2339, or e-mail [email protected].

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