For My Love of Bridges: Wheeling Island and Walkersville Covered Bridge

 

Wheeling Island Bridge deck and walkways

Wheeling Island Bridge deck and walkways

So as a creative person who loves to take photos almost more than any other free time activity,I spend a lot of time thinking about where and what I will take photos. Ten years ago I found my muse. Unlike some photographers  I do not take a lot of photos of humans or love to trek into the wilderness to find beautiful vistas or take photos of the night sky with a million stars. I can’t help it, I love to photograph bridges.

This summer I actually spent some time with two historic bridges here in West Virginia and wanted to add them to the collection of photos I have of them. Then if that is not strange enough… my husband recently started work for the State Wide Bridge Department for the Dept of  Highways here in WV. So I get to fallow him around our state taking more photos of bridges he works on and in the surrounding area of his locations. My love affair always seems to lead to him!

So I wanted to share some photos of where we have been this summer and what I have seen. My first stop was to see the oldest suspension bridge that is still open to traffic in the United States. The bridge passes over the Ohio River and connects Wheeling Island to the main city of Wheeling, West Virginia and the state of  Ohio. The Island is a large populated island in the Ohio River with a wonderful history of flooding and escaping the river. Bridge construction completed in 1849 and has been in continuous use ever since. The bridge looks almost the same as it appeared in the 1800 except for the decking was changed in the 1950’s to better deal with the problem of swing caused by the wind and traffic.

Stone Pier of the Wheeling Island Bridge, Island side.

Stone Pier of the Wheeling Island Bridge, Island side.

It is one of my favorite bridges so far because the bridge design has always included the two side walks you see in the upper photo… Meaning I get to walk across the 1010 foot span of the bridge and not get stuck on the road way to take photos and I get to feel the strong cables that hold me above the cold water of the Ohio. I spent some time imagining the many families who would walk the bridge in the early 1900’s to get to the city to buy necessities for their family every week. Then make the return trip before dark with tired children and arms full of produce and meats. The view from the bridge is lovely, it shows off the Ohio River Valley and some of the  historic homes of Wheeling island.

Barge moving slowly up the Ohio River from Wheeling to Wirton West Virginia

Barge moving slowly North up the Ohio River from Wheeling to Wierton West Virginia

GE DIGITAL CAMERA

New Life Church on the bank of the Ohio River on Wheeling Island… and my little silver car!

The bridge drops you on Main Street in downtown Wheeling and only about a block from the Capital Theater.  It is West Virginia’s largest and oldest theaters… and a career starting point of Brad Paisley’s musical life. It is beautiful and worth it to stop to enjoy its charm and if you are lucky see a show.

Front of Capitol Theatre, Wheeling West Virginia

Front of Capitol Theater/ Theatre, Wheeling West Virginia

Pediment of Capitol Theatre/ Theater, Wheeling WV

Pediment of Capitol Theatre/ Theater, Wheeling WV

The Bridge and Wheeling island are nice reason for a trip to downtown Wheeling. There are so many beautiful places hidden in the old down town area. I hope to spend more time walking the city streets at some point but for this trip the National road and Wheeling Island bridge were a great way to spend the afternoon.

The other bridge the my family stopped to take photos is not far from our home and is one of 17 restored Covered Bridges that remain in West Virginia. This one is pretty small in comparison to others, but It is still a wonderful place to enjoy the views. The Walkersville Covered Bridge is in the southern part of Lewis County in the North Central Region of the state. It crosses the Right Fork of the West Fork River and passes through several small communities. The bridge is a 39 feet 4 inches long and constructed in 1903 to help passage of farmers from their farms to the city of Weston. My family passes the bridge quite often and I love to stop and walk on the wooden trusses and wonder what it would have been like to drive a team of horse with a wagon through the bridge.

The bridge is off the main road and gets very little traffic. The bridge and the surrounding small farms and pastures make it a perfect country setting for photos.

front of the Walkersville Covered Bridge in Lewis County West Virginia

front of the Walkersville Covered Bridge in Lewis County West Virginia.

South side of Walkersville Covered Bridge in Lewis County, WV

South side of Walkersville Covered Bridge in Lewis County, WV

This last photo I took is my favorite of the collection. The inside view makes me think of all the “Sleepy Hallow” movies that I have loved through out my life. To ride a horse through the bridge on a cool foggy early morning would just make this little bridge come to life for me.

Inside View of the Walkersville Covered Bridge

Inside View of the Walkersville Covered Bridge.

The day we stopped to see the bridge the farm next door was taking a lunch break from bailing hay on the hot afternoon. I just could not keep myself from taking a photo of the tractor and bailer at rest for a short time in the field.

lunch time on the farm during hay season

lunch time on the farm during hay season.

The covered bridge will be part of a seasonal series that I hope to make. Because the bridge is so close to my home I can take time during winter and fall to try to capture some of the beauty that nature adds to such an old structure. I hope to grow my photo collection over the next couple of years and share them through a calendar at some point.

 

 

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Categories: bridges, nostalgic, photo review, Photos, traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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11 thoughts on “For My Love of Bridges: Wheeling Island and Walkersville Covered Bridge

  1. Beautiful pictures! I think I’ve been across the suspension bridge. When my daughter and I visit Pittsburgh, we stay on Nevell Island which is a large, mostly industrial island in the Ohio River. I love the covered bridge. I didn’t know there were so many in WV. I look forward to the seasonal shots.

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  2. Debbie

    Beautiful photos-thanks for sharing! I love the Suspension Bridge…my dad still tells me stories about walking over it as a youngster. Such history and memories…make sure to keep us updated on your brdige photos!

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  3. Great pictures. I love bridges too, especially the small quaint ones found off the beaten path.

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  4. JoLynn,
    I just came upon your web today. I saw the picture of my Grandfather Thomas Benton Powers and his big buck and was surprised to see it there and find I had other family on the web. My brother has that head now after my father Benton Glenn Powers Sr. passed away May 21, 2006. You all have a BLESSED DAY!

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    • Hello Gloria it is so nice to meet you… I hope that if you have time you will friend me on FB and if you want to fallow me on my blog by entering your email and we can get to know each other better. We see your sisters and brother quite often since we moved to Buckhannon last year would love to get to know you better Jolynn

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      • Thank You!
        JoLynn sorry to say I must be one in a million that won’t use FaceBook but I do e-mail all of the time. My sister Pam was just here for a quick visit a couple of weeks ago as she was returning from a busyness trip over in Destin, Fl.. She had to get back up home for the funeral service of a young friend. I just saw and added Aunt Kathleen’s passing August 03, 2015. I may not be up home but I do try to keep up on what is going on as best I can from down here on the Gulf. It was so good to see the group picture with Aunt Wanda in it.
        Prayers & Best Wishes
        Gloria

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      • Hi JoLynn,
        I watch the Barn Builders all the time and saw the one last night from your area and your home. I’m PROUD to say you’re a girl after my own heart. I loved the show and am PROUD of you all and what you have done for yourselves and the area. Thanks for the memories God Bless you ALL. Gloria

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      • Gloria so glad you enjoyed it and got a chance to see what we are up to… love the show too… and thank for your support

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  5. Wonderful post with great photos and excellent ground level descriptions

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