Our Covered Bridge
There is no better introduction to a town than through a covered bridge. The car rises, you enter the shade, the bridge rattles and shakes as only a wooden bridge can do, and then you pop into the sunlight and the town is suddenly in view, Sammy Blue’s Bait Shack immediately to the left. with Doc Ghesslet’s office straight ahead, partially visible through the Sycamore trees. Built in 1883 by the citizens of Sycamore Shadows after fire destroyed the first structure, ours is the easternmost covered bridge in the state of Ohio as well as one of the few still in daily use. I took this photo just after the bridge was repainted in 2009 and though hand lettering is something that has always been difficult for me, I think I did well with the sign. Officials have wanted to replace the bridge several times but largely through the efforts of Mayor Chibble, whose nephew operates a lunch stand in the basement of the capitol in Columbus, the State of Ohio declared our bridge a historic landmark last year and it will remain undisturbed. Trucks and other heavy vehicles must enter town from the east, using SycPenn Rd. If you zoom in on the photo you may see the faint outline of Sammy Blue’s Bait Shack through the trees to the left of the bridge.
Abigail and I stood inside the bridge one night last winter for two hours. There was a special quiet that only comes late at night during a heavy snow, a palpable stillness so peaceful and distinct, as if someone had wrapped our valley in flannel and shoved marshmallows in our ears. The snowflakes were big and thick and clumpy, like they were carpooling, and in spite of the chill we felt warm and comfortable and satisfied, not realizing how cold we were until later when we had hot chocolate at the Imaginactory. You can’t plan such a wonderful thing. You stuff your wallet and go places, searching for magic, trying to buy fun or manufacture a memory, and then you look into Abigail’s pretty blue eyes on a quiet winter night and realize you’re having one and it doesn’t cost a thing.
Click here to see the location on the town map.