Ashland Covered Bridge

Ashland Covered Bridge (aka Barley Mill Road Covered Bridge), Barley Mill Road, Ashland, Delaware

Ashland Covered Bridge (aka Barley Mill Road Covered Bridge), Barley Mill Road, Ashland, Delaware

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Ashland Covered Bridge

The State of Delaware never had many covered bridges. Those it had were all located in the northern part of the state, in New Castle County, near the Pennsylvania line. The reason is simple: most of Delaware is tidal plain, and covered bridges have never been much use in the tidal plains with their flat land and wide, slow rivers. Ferries are better in that kind of country. But Delaware has used, and still does use, covered bridges to cross two of its northern creeks, the Red Clay and the Brandywine. The Ashland Covered Bridge, also known as Barley Mill Road Covered Bridge, crosses Red Clay Creek on Barley Mill Road in Ashland.

Built around 1860 the Ashland Bridge is a Town Lattice Truss bridge following the design of Ithiel Town. The design was of great importance because it could be built quickly by relatively unskilled workers from readily available material. The design also avoided the need for the heavy piers needed for stone arches.  It is a relatively short bridge at only 52-feet in length.

Still in use today for motor cars, the bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.  This listing was a joint one with the 1850 built Wooddale Covered Bridge which also crosses Red Clay Creek.  Both bridges are of almost identical design with Wooddale being about 8-feet longer.

As an aside, Delaware only has one other covered bridge – Smiths Bridge.  The original bridge burnt down in 1961.  The replacement built the following year but is not included on the National register of Historic Places.

Summary
Ashland Covered Bridge
Article Name
Ashland Covered Bridge
Description
Ashland Covered Bridge, also known as Barley Mill Road Covered Bridge, crosses Red Clay Creek on Barley Mill Road in Ashland, Delaware
Author
Publisher Name
Mark Summerfield
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