Covered Bridges

Span the ages by touring Preble’s eight covered bridges. The county was once home to 29 covered bridges built from 1829 to 1896, including the Christman Covered Bridge in Eaton, and the Geeting Covered Bridge in Lewisburg, which are are still in use. Take a leisurely drive to visit our Covered Bridges, windows down, and also enjoy farmland, meadows, rolling hills and valleys.  The Bridges may be the main delight, but our beautiful countryside is icing on the cake.

COVERED BRIDGES of Preble County

Preble County is fortunate to have eight covered bridges still standing and is home to the oldest covered bridge in Ohio and second oldest double-lane bridge in the U.S. Throughout the 19th Century, from 1829 until 1896, 29 covered bridges were built in Preble County and used for turnpikes, the railroad, private enterprise, and some to replace original bridges destroyed by a devastating storm in May, 1886.

The Robert’s Bridge was built in 1829 and is Ohio’s oldest covered bridge. It is one of only six double barreled or dual wagon-way bridges still remaining in the United States and is the oldest of these and the second oldest covered bridge of any type in the nation. 

Built just over a quarter century after settlement began in the area, the Roberts Bridge is among the earliest non-domestic structures standing in Preble County. Having obtained a contract from the U.S. government, Orlistus Roberts began building a covered bridge about two and one-half miles south of the village of Eaton. With the help of his apprentice, James Campbell, Roberts built the bridge of local poplar, beech and oak resting it on abutments of limestone quarried from nearby Rocky Run. All bolts, nuts and nails were hand forged by the builders. Unfortunately, Roberts died before completion of the bridge that bears his name and it was finished by James Campbell. 

For nearly 160 years, Roberts Bridge was in use at its original location. In 1962, the bridge was restored and in 1974, important structural repairs were made. By the 1980’s nearly all of the protective structure and some framing were no longer original. However, the actual load bearing bridge was intact. On August 5, 1986, the bridge was vandalized and heavily damaged by fire.  On the day following the fire, a group of concerned citizens joined in their resolve to restore Roberts Bridge. Relocation of the bridge to a more accessible and secure site was considered necessary.  The site in Eaton was prepared and plans were made for moving the trusses. The move took place on September 20, 1990. 

On June 23, 2012, over 100 years since the last covered bridge was built, beautiful all-new Hueston Woods Covered Bridge was dedicated. This bridge is a Burr Arch truss construction similar to the Roberts Bridge, and it has a span of 108 feet over Four Mile Creek in Hueston Woods State Park. 

Description of all of the Preble County covered bridges can be found in our Covered Bridge Brochure (linked below) and more detailed information in the book, Covered Bridges of Preble County by Seth Schlotterbeck.  Seth’s book may be purchased through our Preble County Historical Society.