Location: Cafferty Rd., Tinicum Twp. (Google Map)
Height Limit: 9.5 ft. Width: 12 ft.
Length: 130 ft. Weight Limit: 15 tons
Frankenfield Covered Bridge
This covered bridge was built to allow people, horses and wagons a dry passage across the Tinicum Creek, an area once known for an abundant turtle population, on a common travel route of the day. In the winter time workers would “snow” the bridges for the benefit of uninterrupted sleigh rides. Historically covered bridges have been called “kissing” or “Wishing” because young couple used the shaded passages to steal a kiss or make a wish before entering a new bridge for the first time. The bridge was made with a roof to protect the wood and timbers from rotting. People were not to drive or ride over the bridges faster than a walk (about 3 to 4 miles per hour) and smoking was prohibited. Ithel Town, an engineer and architect from new Haven, CT, Patented the lattice like design in 1820. Timbers were held in place by wooden pegs know as “tree nails,” allowing the bridge to be built by less skilled workers.
According to a 1982 publication on covered bridges, the county had recently restored it. It is in excellent condition with vertical plank siding, gable roof, inside walls in the portal area and cut stone abutments. In 1984 it was one of thirteen remaining covered bridges in Bucks County of the 26 that had been built. Haupt’s Covered Bridge (Which bears the name of some of Simon Frankenfield’s descendants) was burned in January 1985 to bring the number of covered bridges in the county to 12. In October 1991 arson destroyed the Scholfield Bridge in Tyler State Park. hence Bucks county had only 11 covered bridges left in 2000.
Thanks to friend and fellow photographer, Mike Rubillo, for braving the cold to go take pictures! Additional thanks to John C. Frankenfield forthe history.