The Bartram Covered Bridge Remodeling project...2013/2014
The Bartram Covered Bridge spans the county line between Delaware and Chester Counties over Crum Creek near the intersection of Goshen and Boot Roads in Newtown Square. It is the last covered bridge remaining in Delaware County, a county which once had over 30 covered bridges. The bridge has unique slanted plank portals, the only bridge in Pennsylvania with this unusual design.
Built in 1860 by Ferdinand Wood, who designed the portals to be “Hi and Wide as a Load of Hay,” the bridge is 80 feet long by 13 feet wide. The original cost of $1,133 to build the bridge was shared by Delaware and Chester Counties. It is named for Mordecai Bartram, an adjacent landowner. The bridge design, pioneered by Theodore Burr, features the Burr Truss, commonly found in Pennsylvania covered bridges of the time. At one time, the words “LINCOLN, Save Union and Congress” were still visibly painted inside the bridge. The last traces of this old graffiti from 1860 are believed to have been lost during the last restoration of the bridge in 1995.
The bridge closed to traffic in 1941. The bridge was first rehabilitated in the 1960′s (at the time by the Marple Newtown Historical Society). After years of neglect, the bridge was restored in 1995, funded by a combination of donations, grants and fundraising. The bridge is now maintained by a commission of volunteers representing both Newtown and Willistown Townships. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Bartram Bridge Commission
Eric D. Gerst, Chair (Willistown)
Judy Radano (Willistown)
Kerk Farrell (Newtown)
Janice Elston (Newtown)
Ed Johnston (Newtown)
Bill Hagen (Willistown)
George Sharretts (Newtown)
Willistown and Newtown Township, Pa. ....Since 1860
New Roof...2013......................................by Rich Geraghty....Roofing Company
In the fall of 2013 the well needed roofing job for the Covered Bridge was in progress. Originally the roof had a cedar covering, but a new trend sweeping the state in preservation of these bridges is seeing the value of replacing the cedar with metal. The new covering will last a lifetime, have no maintenance, is recognized by the state as the right choice for preservation and is authentic to the time period.
"When we chose Richard to do our roof project we knew that we made the right choice". Richard who is a local citizen grew up near the bridge and has many childhood memories here was more than willing to do the job. In addition, the using of the metal might not have been if it wasn't for the generosity of his roofing company. Just like the old days... "metal is more expensive than wood" and so with a limited budget we had to make this work and Richard made that possible for us...Thank you Rich
We also want to thank Tony from JPS waste removal for his donation of the dumpsters for the project. Tony who is a friend and lives only houses away was more than happy to help us...Thank you Tony
The drawing on left is the first artist rendering of the bridge with it's new roof by the roofing contractor himself. Richard who is also an artist spends most of his free time drawing for clients and points of interest to himself. has the most
Close up view of the existing cedar roof....notice all the fungus, and that roof is only 17 years old....our new roof....doesn't even need maintenance for at least 30!!
The drawing above is the first artist rendering of the bridge with the new roof drawn by the roofing contractor himself. Richard who is also an artist spends most of his free time drawing for clients and friends. If you would like a limited print or to speak with Richard he can be reached at 484-886-0299
Just in time for the winter...notice how the snow doesn't even want to stay on the roof!!
2013 was a very productive year for the bridge and a great start to our aggressive construction goals for the year 2014. We started off the year by inspecting the the bridge for structural work...and so we tightened down all existing bolts, added several in key locations, adjusted rafters and other roof members, power washed for colonial days and of course the big job.... installed the new metal standing seam roof system.