Bartram’s Covered Bridge
Goshen & Boot Roads
The Bartram Covered Bridge spans the county line between Delaware and Chester Counties over Crum Creek near the intersection of Goshen and Boot Roads in Newtown Square. It is the last covered bridge remaining in Delaware County, a county which once had over 30 covered bridges. The bridge has unique slanted plank portals, the only bridge in Pennsylvania with this unusual design.
Built in 1860 by Ferdinand Wood, who designed the portals to be “Hi and Wide as a Load of Hay,” the bridge is 80 feet long by 13 feet wide. The original cost of $1,133 to build the bridge was shared by Delaware and Chester Counties. It is named for Mordecai Bartram, an adjacent landowner. The bridge design, pioneered by Theodore Burr, features the Burr Truss, commonly found in Pennsylvania covered bridges of the time. At one time, the words “LINCOLN, Save Union and Congress” were still visibly painted inside the bridge. The last traces of this old graffiti from 1860 are believed to have been lost during the last restoration of the bridge in 1995.
The bridge closed to traffic in 1941. The bridge was first rehabilitated in the 1960′s (at the time by the Marple Newtown Historical Society). After years of neglect, the bridge was restored in 1995, funded by a combination of donations, grants and fundraising. The bridge is now maintained by a commission of volunteers representing both Newtown and Willistown Townships. The bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The townships of Newtown and Willistown came together in June of 2010 to celebrate the 150th birthday of the bridge and authors from both communities collaborated on a wonderful book, Bartram Covered Bridge: Spanning History, on the history of the bridge, filled with historic photographs and community memories of time spent at the picturesque bridge.
Bartram Bridge Commission
- Eric D. Gerst, Chair (Willistown)
- Judy Radano (Willistown)
- Kerk Farrell (Newtown)
- Janice Elston (Newtown)
- Ed Johnston (Newtown)
Contact the Commission
Meetings are held on the 2nd Tuesday in January, April, July and October, alternating locations between Newtown and Willistown Township Buildings.