Come ‘party’ on Roberts Bridge

By Duante Beddingfield -

The Roberts Bridge

The Roberts Bridge

EATON — On Thursday, May 19, from 4-7 p.m., the Preble County Convention & Visitors Bureau will throw a “Party on the Bridge” at the Roberts Bridge, South Beech Street, the most popular of the county’s covered bridges.

CVB board member Heidi Bortel said, “2016 is the year of the covered bridge, and we’re featuring ours because Preble County has a number of them that are very unique. The Roberts is the most accessible and the best known, and it’s got a great location next to Crystal Lake, so it seemed like the perfect place for a celebration.”

Constructed in 1829, the Roberts is the oldest covered bridge in Ohio and, designed for two-way wagon traffic, it is the state’s only remaining double-barreled bridge. Only six double-barreled bridges remain in the U.S.; the Roberts is the oldest of them, and the second oldest covered bridge of any type in the nation.

In September, the CVB will host a full, reservations-only dinner on another bridge in the county.

Hors d’oeuvres made locally by Ginger Roth and Lori Dudas, will be served on the bridge. Caprese bites, peach riesling meatballs, chicken enchilada roll-ups, and a cheese tray will be complemeted by a flight of four wines from Eaton’s new Olde Schoolhouse Winery. The Schoolhouse will offer a dry, full-bodied noiret (red) and a semi-dry riesling (white), and two dessert wines — a muscat and a blackberry.

“Because the bridge is in a state park,” said Bortel, “we can’t pour wine on the bridge, but the lot directly next door is a private property and the owner is allowing us to serve the wine on their grass.”

After the event, the Olde Schoolhouse Winery (152 Ohio 726, near the corner of U.S. 127 and Ohio 726) will host a special sneak preview at their location. . A grand opening is expected mid-June.

Tickets are $20, and can be purchased on-site the day of the event; pre-registration is available online at For more information, write

The Roberts Bridge Roberts Bridge

By Duante Beddingfield

Reach Duante Beddingfield at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @duanteb_RH.

Reach Duante Beddingfield at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @duanteb_RH.