Bridge - Juniata River

Route 75
Click On Image To Enlarge

Water Street entrance to the covered bridge that crosses the Juniata River.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 1900

View Additional Photos and Comments

Before Perrysville (now Port Royal) was a village, a fording, located a short distance below the mouth of the Tuscarora Creek, was used by traffic going by way of St. Tammany's Town (now Old Port) westward through the Tuscarora Valley. From the time this county was settled this was a natural crossing place.

The second fording crossed the river, beginning on the east side a short distance below the house (known as the Book Farm), and came into Port Royal on Tuscarora Street. Later an approach was made to Milford Street.

The history of the first two bridges built across the Juniata River is practically lost. The first bridge was built in 1831. In 1839, eight years later, a heavy snow broke it down. The heavy snow crushed down the roof into the middle of the bridge, and then, by its leaning weight, burst out the arches, so that the whole structure fell down upon the ice upside down, so completely wrecking the timbers that scarcely a piece was fit to be used again. A new bridge was built in 1842 and served as a crossing until it was taken by a flood October 9, 1847.

The third bridge was built in 1851 at a cost of about a $4500. It was located north of the present structure and was raised about five feet higher than the previous structure. The two small islands in the river are where the piers stood. This toll bridge was the property of a private company. (The incorporators were Stewart Turbett, John M. Pomeroy, Samuel Okeson, Wilson Laird, John Esh, John Kepner, George I. Cuddy.) Some of the toll collector's names were Strayer, Isenberg, Dennis and the last was the Powell family. This family lived in the toll house at the time of the 1889 flood which destroyed the bridge and the house. The family lost all their property and only escaped with their lives.

The following note appeared in the Aug. 17, 1882 edition of the Port Royal Times: "A large force of workmen are now engaged in thoroughly overhauling the bridge that spans the Juniata at Port Royal, under the superintendent of Mr. Leonard Mauger. Mr. M. never does anything by halves and we feel certain that he will put the bridge in first-class order."

The fourth bridge was built by the county in 1892 at a cost of $16,500.00. The contractor was W. F. Goodman. This was a wooden covered bridge about 700 feet long. The piers were built of native stone with a concrete core, and the superstructure of timbers from the mountain. This bridge served the traveling public for a period of 45 years. On March 18, 1936, at four o'clock in the afternoon the St. Patrick's Day Flood destroyed it. The last person to cross the bridge in a car was Mr. S. G. Bashore, of Port Royal.

The fifth and current bridge was constructed in 1937. During the late spring and summer the Highway Department Engineers made three distinct surveys of probable sites for the new bridge; one on Milford, one on Market and one on Tuscarora Street. The highway Department decided to use the old site and immediately appropriated the necessary funds. Then, after further discussion with the Town Council and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company, the Market Street site was selected because it eliminated two very dangerous curves and a very steep approach.

The 8-span, 1087'-long bridge, built in 1937, is composed of four Parker thru truss spans over the river, measuring approximately 222'-long each, a steel thru girder span over the street, and two steel stringer and a reinforced concrete slab approach spans. The deck was replaced in 1975 and the slab span replaced a steel stringer span in 1982. The rivet-connected trusses are composed of standard built-up chords and rolled steel section verticals and diagonals. The bridge is a late and undistinguished example of a truss design developed in the 1870s and used by the state highway department as a standard beginning in the 1920s. It has no noteworthy details. More than 75 examples from the 1920s to 1940s have been identified [though many have since been demolished]. The bridge is not distinguished by its setting, nor is it significant in association with the development of Port Royal. The town grew in association with the railroad as a local commercial and transportation center for the countryside from the late 1840s to about 1910.

(The photos in this file show the fourth and fifth bridges. There are no known pictures of the three earlier bridges.)

Photos & Additional Comments

Add a Photo/Commnent
Contributed by ray on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1920
BRIDGE ENTRANCE: River Bridge entrance from First Street. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by ray on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1920
BRIDGE ENTRANCE: River Bridge entrance from First Street. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/9/09 - Image Year: 1902
This photo shows a view of the East end of the fourth bridge as taken from the west bank of the river. The farm at the end of the bridge is often referred to as the Book Farm. The small islands near the boat is where the piers rested for the third bridge.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1925
BRIDGE ENTRANCE: River Bridge entrance from the East. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/25/11 - Image Year: 1930
Looking across the Juniata River at Port Royal
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1930
JUNIATA RIVER COVERED BRIDGE: An aerial view of the Juniata River and covered bridge at Port Royal. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 1930
This is a view of one of the entrances to the fourth bridge. This entrance is across the river from Port Royal and opposite the Water Street entrance.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 1931
A view of the covered river bridge looking toward Port Royal. The roof of the top of the Hotel Royal and the tower of the Lutheran Church are both visible above the roof of the bridge.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 1936
The western end of the Juniata River bridge just 15 minutes before part of it was swept away during the S. Patrick's Day Flood on March 19, 1936.
Contributed by ray on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1936
36 FLOOD WATERS: The waters have risen and the bridge is in peril. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 1936
Aerial view of the one remaining section of the Juniata River Bridge after three sections had been swept away in the March 1936 flood. It is easy to see the previous traffic pattern. Vehicles would cross the Railroad Bridge, go to Water Street and then traverse the covered bridge. The Pomeroy Houses are at the left just above the railroad. Tyson's Hill leads away from the other end of the bridge to the top of the picture.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 8/13/10 - Image Year: 1936
The last remaining span of the river bridge after the 1936 flood.
Contributed by donholton on 3/26/10 - Image Year: 1936
This photo shows what is left of the entrance to the bridge after the 1936 flood.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 1936
Dismantling has begun of the final remaining span of the Juniata River bridge in preparation for erection of the new steel structure.
Contributed by ray on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1937
NOT MUCH REMAINS: One of the footings that remains from the covered bridge in Port Royal.
Contributed by ray on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1937
INSTALLING PILINGS: Workmem install pilings for the piers of the new steel bridge that will replace the covered bridge that was washed away by the flood. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/5/09 - Image Year: 1937
The river bridge under construction in 1937. The photo shows one of the new piers for the bridge and off to the left, one of the piers for the previous bridge. When this pier was completed the workmen left a long ladder stand against the end of the pier over the weekend. During their absence some citizens were greatly startled to see three children of Harvey and Mary (Elliott) Blystone; Harvey Jr., 6, Charlotte E., 9, and Isabel M., 12 years old, playing on top of this 57 foot pier.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/3/13 - Image Year: 1937
The first span of the bridge is about half completed. (Photo submitted by Wayne Taylor)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/5/09 - Image Year: 1937
The construction of the river bridge in 1937. The first span is in place.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/5/09 - Image Year: 1937
Construction of the river bridge in 1937. The second span appears to be in place.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/5/09 - Image Year: 1937
Construction of the river bridge in 1937. Three spans finished and the fourth span about to begin. This is the Port Royal Times account of progress in the September 28, 1937 edition: "The steel work on the new river bridge at Port Royal is nearing completion by the force of workmen engaged by the American Bridge Company. They are now erecting the last span and expect to finish the same some time next week. The concrete floor on two spans has already been poured."
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/24/11 - Image Year: 1937
BRIDGE BUILDERS: Iron and steel workers on the Juniata River Bridge at Port Royal. (The photo was taken by Port Royal photographer Paul Smith.) (Juniata County History Project collection, M, Historical Collections and Labor Archives, Special Collections Library, University Libraries, Pennsylvania State University.)
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/5/09 - Image Year: 1937
The bridge under construction but nearing completion toward the end of 1937 note the crane to the right of the photo. The work on the new bridge was started on January 18, 1937 and was completely accepted by the Pennsylvania Highway Department on January 6, 1938. The bridge is of steel construction with four piers made of concrete, reinforced with steel. It is about 1120 feet long and 33 feet wide from edge to edge with a roadway of 23 feet and a walk of five feet.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/5/09 - Image Year: 1938
S. R. Bashore was the first resident to cross the completed bridge and H. S. Deen, the first to drive a vehicle across it. Although completed six months earlier, the bridge was formally dedicated in a ceremony on, July 17, 1938. After a parade through the town Mr. Robert Eliott Groninger one of the town's oldest residents, a farmer and associate judge (son of Leonard & Margaret Jane (Reynolds) Groninger and husband of Mary Belle McLaughlin) cut the ribbon officially dedicating the bridge.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 12/24/10 - Image Year: 1938
ORGANIZING FOR THE DEDICATION PARADE: Fire companies getting organized for the Bridge Dedication Parade in 1938.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 7/31/11 - Image Year: 1938
DEDICATION PARADE: Bridge Dedication Parade passes Port Royal National Bank and Bashore Hardware in 1938.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 1939
The steel bridge that replaced the destroyed covered bridge. Believe that this photo was taken soon after completion of the bridge. From the angle it appears that the photo was taken from one of the upper story rooms of the Hotel Royal.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 3/1/10 - Image Year: 2005
Bridge as viewed from the intersection of the river and the Tuscarora Creek.
Contributed by donholton on 3/26/10 - Image Year: 2007
Port Royal Sign and Bridge in 2007.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 9/4/09 - Image Year: 2009
This photo shows the bridge wrapped in canvas so that it could be refurbished. The photo was taken from Second Street along side the Hotel Royal in the Summer of 2009.
Contributed by rkohler3 on 2/14/13 - Image Year: 2012
The Juniata River Bridge as it appears from on top of Tyson's Hill. (Photo by Abby Fohringer)



Website design by
JLConsulting Web Services