Ackley Covered Bridge
In the mid-1930s, Henry Ford began to search for a covered bridge to add to Greenfield Village. Henry Fords interest in bridges instilled heightened local pride of those states that had covered bridges. As a result, many dilapidated covered bridges were suddenly considered to have historic value, and were retained and repaired.
The Ackley Covered Bridge was built over Wheeling Creek between Washington and Greene counties in southwestern Pennsylvania by Joshua Ackley & Daniel Clouse in 1832 on land owned by the Joshua Ackley family. The bridge had fallen into disrepair and was scheduled to be torn down after 105 years of service.
Mrs. Harleigh J. Carroll, Ackleys granddaughter, acquired the bridge and in turn gave it to Henry Ford in 1937. The massive kingpost trusses of the aging structure were gently dismantled, then carefully trucked 300 miles back to Dearborn and reassembled on it's present site.
This eighty foot covered bridge is of a type once common in north eastern America. The roof of the German side-lapped shingles and boarded sides help to preserve the supporting timbers of the structure.
Covered bridges and tollhouses were common features of early American highways and turnpikes.
The barn-like enclosure protected the bridges hand-hewn timbers from the deteriorating
effects of rain and snow and protected passengers from horses that were skiddish of water.
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