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Smith's Bridge

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2002 replica of 1839 original, Pocopson Industries. Smith Bridge Rd. over Brandywine Creek
  • (Photograph by Matthew Aungst)

Near Delaware's northernmost point and in sight of the Pennsylvania state line stands a 145-foot covered bridge popular with artists. The first covered span here (1839, copy of a Lewis Wernwag design) suffered damage from truck traffic and was considered ready for demolition in 1954, when state engineer William A. McWilliams successfully pleaded for its restoration as one of the last covered bridges in the state. A steel deck was inserted and the whole Burr arched-truss structure was supported by two stone piers built in the river. The refurbished bridge was burned by an arsonist in 1961, one of several in Delaware to suffer this fate. Its reconstruction forty-one years later came as a result of a campaign by the Centreville Civic Association. The original bridge was of white pine, but the re-creation (awarded a historic preservation award in 2003) employed Bongossi, a fire-resistant African hardwood of rock-hard resinousness. To the east stands the stone Smith's Mill House (c. 1790) and remains of a mill and race, in operation to 1900.

Writing Credits

W. Barksdale Maynard


What's Nearby


W. Barksdale Maynard, "Smith's Bridge", [Wilmington, Delaware], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Delaware

Buildings of Delaware, W. Barksdale Maynard. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008, 54-54.

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