Celebrating 200 Years of History in 2020

Clay’s Bridge (Also known as Wahneta Bridge)

Marker

Additional Information

 

CLAY’S COVERED BRIDGE

The bridge at its original location, now under the waters of Holman Lake.
Spanning Little Buffalo Creek, the road over the bridge passed through the farm of Jacob Clay.

Clay’s Covered Bridge, originally known as Wahneta, was built in 1890 by contractor George Harding and restored in 1959. Located one mile west of its present location, it was moved in 1970 when the creek was dammed to form Holman Lake for Little Buffalo State Park. The bridge now spans the Furnace Run Branch of Little Buffalo Creek below the dam. Damaged by a winter storm in 1994, there is an 8,000 lb. weight limit and it is limited to foot traffic.
The bridge architecture is known as Burr Truss, patented by Theodore Burr of Connecticut. The structure is 82’ 4” long, by 15’ 1” wide and 14’ 8” high, with foot planking of 2 ½” by 14’. Two large arches extend lengthwise from one end of the bridge to the other. The roof and floor are attached to this arch, as are many king posts. The Burr Truss allows longer distances to be bridged than do some other truss styles.

The interior of Clay’s Bridge demonstrating the Burr Truss.
There were many Burr Truss bridges built in the Susquehanna watershed, including the record-breaking, 360′ long, single-arched wooden bridge, constructed in 1815 at McCall’s Ferry, Lancaster County, PA. Clay’s Covered Bridge is one of 14 that can still be found in Perry County.
The location of all Perry County covered bridges can be found at the Perry County Heritage Trail web site.

Sponsored by Christina and Byron Dudley and Kelsey Evans

References:
DCNR, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Recreational Guide for Little Buffalo State Park; Perry County, PA Covered Bridges Trail Book by the Perry County Promotional Alliance; Little Buffalo State Park Management Plan

Clay’s Bridge (Also know as Wahneta Bridge) is located in Little Buffalo State Park near Newport, PA in Centre Township.  Originally built in 1890 by Geroge Harding across the Little Buffalo Creek and rebuilt in 1959, the single span Burr Arch Truss bridge was moved in 1970 when the creek was dammed to form Holman Lake in the Park.

The 82 foot long by 15 foot wide Burr Arch Truss bridge, with 2-1/2 inch by 14 foot planking, now spans the Furnace Run Branch of the Little Buffalo Creek below the dam and is limited to foot traffic.  It was damaged by a winter storm in 1994.  It is owned by the Little Buffalo State Park.

Posted on the National Register of Historical Places April 3, 1978  NRHP Ref 78002440 and World Guide to Covered Bridges No. 38-50-18

Directions from Harrisburg

From Interstate 81 (Exit67) take Rt 322/22 aproximately 20 miles to the Exit for Newport and New Bloomfield. Turn left at the end of the exit ramp onto Rt 34.
Travel 1 mile and cross the Juniata River on the old Iron Bridge, continuing straight through town (Market St) to the stop sign at the corner of 4th and Market St.

Turn left onto 4th street and follow the Rt 34 signs through Newport and then the small Village of Everhartville for approximately 3/4 mile. At the end of the village turn right onto Little Buffalo Road (SR4010).  Proceed for approximately 1 mile  to the first intersection and turn left onto State Park Road (SR1011).

Cross a bridge over Little Buffalo Creek and turn right onto Boat Launch Road.  Parking is available on the left side near the bridge.

 

Perry County Heritage Trail

The Perry County Bicentennial Committee is happy to be involved with the research and writing of much of the content of the history of Perry County. The committee has been instrumental in working with sponsors to procure and install the markers as shown in this Heritage Trail website.