Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other covered bridges named Martin's Mill, see Martin's Mill Covered Bridge.
Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge
Eberly's Cider Mill, Martin's Mill,
Big Conestoga #2, Fiand's, Fiantz's
Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge Side 3008px.jpg
One of the sides of the bridge
Official name: Big Conestoga #2 Bridge
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Lancaster
Township West Earl
Road SR 1013 (single lane)
Crosses Conestoga River
Coordinates 40°8′25.5″N 76°9′7″W / 40.140417°N 76.15194°W / 40.140417; -76.15194Coordinates: 40°8′25.5″N 76°9′7″W / 40.140417°N 76.15194°W / 40.140417; -76.15194
Length 98 ft (30 m)
 - Mainspan 80 m (262 ft) [1]
Width 15 ft (5 m)
 - Road width 13 ft (4 m) [1]
Overhead Clearance 11.5 ft (4 m)
Builder George Fink,
Sam Reamsnyder
Design Burr Arch Truss Bridge
Material Wood
Built 1846
 - Reconstructed 1997
Owned and Maintained by Lancaster County
NBI Number 361013025007460
WGCB Number 38-36-04
NRHP Ref Number 80003516
Load 20 short tons (18 t)
Added to NRHP December 11, 1980
MPS Covered Bridges of Lancaster County TR
Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge is located in Pennsylvania
Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge
Location of Covered Bridge in Pennsylvania
Wikimedia Commons: Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge

The Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the Conestoga River in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, United States. It is the oldest bridge in the county still in use.[2] A county-owned and maintained bridge, its official designation is the Big Conestoga #2 Bridge. The bridge is also called Martin's Mill Bridge, Eberly's Cider Mill Covered Bridge, and Fiand's/Fiantz's Covered Bridge.

The bridge has a single span, wooden, double Burr arch trusses design with the addition of steel hanger rods. The deck is made from oak planks.[3] Added later, secondary steel I-beams support the bridge from underneath.[2] The bridge is painted red on the outside, the traditional color of Lancaster County covered bridges. The inside of the bridge is not painted. Both approaches to the bridge are painted in the traditional white color. As of July 2006, the bridge has some damage to its sides including some missing or broken panels.

The bridge's WGCB Number is 38-36-04.[4] In 1980 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places as structure number 80003516.[5] It is located at 40°8′25.8″N 76°9′7.2″W / 40.140500°N 76.152000°W / 40.140500; -76.152000 (40.1405, -76.1520)[6] near the junction of U.S. Route 222 and U.S. Route 322 southeast of Ephrata in West Earl Township. The bridge can be reached by going approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south from U.S. Route 322 on Cabin Drive which becomes Conestoga Creek Road. A left onto Cider Mill Road leads straight to the bridge, which is visible from the intersection.


The bridge was built in 1846 by George Fink and Sam Reamsnyder at a cost of $1,115. They used a single span, wooden, double Burr arch truss construction. At some point later, steel I-beams were installed under the floor to add support to the oldest bridge in Lancaster County. The bridge has historically been referred to by a number of names that reflected the various mill owners.[2] In 1962, it was proposed to replace the bridge with a concrete span, but the plan was discontinued after much public outcry.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Federal Highway Administration National Bridge Inventory (2007). "Place Name: West Earl (Township of), Pennsylvania; NBI Structure Number: 361013025007460; Facility Carried: SR 1013; Feature Intersected: Conestoga River". (Alexander Svirsky). Retrieved April 16, 2009.  Note: this is a formatted scrape of the 2006 official website, which can be found here for Pennsylvania: "PA06.txt". Federal Highway Administration. 2006. Retrieved April 16, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge". Lancaster County Pennsylvania Dutch Country Official Visitors Center. Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau. 2006. Retrieved July 7, 2006. 
  3. ^ "Bitzer's Mill Covered Bridge". Lancaster County, PA Government Portal. County of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. October 20, 2001. Retrieved July 7, 2006. 
  4. ^ McCain, Roger A. "Bitzer's Mill Bridge". A Guide to Old Covered Bridges of Southeastern Pennsylvania and nearby areas. Retrieved August 3, 2006. 
  5. ^ "PENNSYLVANIA - Lancaster County". National Register of Historic Places. Retrieved March 20, 2007. 
  6. ^ Travis, Dale. "38-36-04". Round Barns & Covered Bridges. Retrieved August 7, 2006. 
  7. ^ Evans, Benjamin D.; June R. Evans (2001). Pennsylvania's Covered Bridges: A complete guide. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 159. ISBN 0-8229-5764-7.