Covered bridges originated in Germany and Switzerland and date back to the 13th century, German immigrants brought the covered bridge to America. At one time there were 12,000 covered bridges in the U.S. Most were built in the mid-19th century. There are more than 200 covered bridges that still exist in Pennsylvania, more than in any other state. Seven of those are in the Lehigh Valley. All but one are still used for vehicular traffic. Here’s a look at some of the Lehigh Valley’s historic covered bridges.
Bogert’s Bridge, Allentown
The longest of the Lehigh Valley’s covered bridges at 145 feet, Bogert’s Bridge was built in 1841. No longer open to vehicular traffic, it serves pedestrians as an entrance to a city park. The bridge, which crosses the Little Lehigh Creek, was named after a family who lived near the site. It was made entirely of wood.
Manasses Guth Bridge, South Whitehall Township
The bridge is named after a descendent of Lorenz Guth who originally purchased land in the area and settled there in 1745. It was built in 1858, was later destroyed by fire and was rebuilt in 1882. The 108-foot long bridge, which crosses the Jordan Creek, is located on the edge of Covered Bridge Park.
Wehr’s Covered Bridge, South Whitehall Township
On the opposite end of Covered Bridge Park is Wehr’s Covered Bridge, built in 1841. This bridge also crosses the Jordan Creek and was originally named Sieger’s Covered Bridge after the owner of an adjacent grist mill Ephraim Sieger. After several owners, the mill was eventually purchased by William Wehr and the name of the bridge was changed accordingly.
Rex’s Covered Bridge, Onefield
Like most of the other covered bridges, Rex’s took its name from prominent landowners in the immediate vicinity. It was built in 1858 and is 115 feet long. It is one of five covered bridges that cross the Jordan Creek in Lehigh Valley.
All of the above bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.