EATON — Despite a thunderstorm which rolled through, all who attended the “Dinner on the Bridge” event last Thursday, Sept. 8, stayed dry and enjoyed the meal inside the oldest double-barrel covered bridge in the country.
Hosted by the Preble County Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Dinner on the Bridge was the final official get together in celebration of PCCVB’s “Year of the Covered Bridge,” which is being recognized in 2016.
The first event, a wine tasting and “Party on the Bridge” was held in May.
Both events were held on the historic Roberts Bridge in Eaton, one of Preble County’s eight covered bridges, the oldest of its kind in the United States, and the oldest covered bridge of any kind in Ohio.
“Mother Nature couldn’t keep away the bridge aficionados and those who just wanted to experience a unique dinner date,” PCCVB Vice President Leslie Collins said. “Good food and a great historic atmosphere made for a nice evening out for those who joined us for the dinner.”
The Roberts Bridge was built in 1829. It is one of six double-barreled bridges (and the oldest of these) which still remain in the United States. It is also the second oldest covered bridge of any type in the nation.
Roberts Bridge sat at its original location, about two and a half miles south of Eaton, for nearly 160 years. After it was vandalized by fire in August 1986, concerned citizens came together to restore the bridge. On Sept. 20, 1990, 26 years ago, it was moved to the more accessible and secure site where it stands today.
Preble County also boasts one of the newest covered bridges, completed in 2012 over Four Mile Creek in Hueston Woods. The Hueston Woods Covered Bridge is similar to Roberts Bridge in construction, and has a span of 108 feet.
Preble County’s other covered bridges include Dixon Branch Covered Bridge, now located in Lewisburg Community Park; Warnke Bridge on Swamp Creek Road; Geeting Covered Bridge on Price Road; Christman Covered Bridge on Eaton-New Hope Road; Harshman Covered Bridge on Concord-Fairhaven Road; and Brubaker Bridge on Brubaker Road.
“Preble County’s covered bridges are some of the most beautiful and well-preserved in the country,” Collins said. “We encourage anyone who has not done so to make a day of it — take a tour around the county and visit these landmarks of historical value.”
For additional information about Preble County’s covered bridges and more, visit the Preble County Convention & Visitors Bureau website at www.preblecountypassport.com.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH