Hunsecker Bridge

Model of Covered Bridge at Hunsecker Mill In 2005 Leon H. Martin, of Leola, Pa., had just completed a model of astagecoach built by John Vidler and Sons in London. His wife, Lydia, asked him what his next project would be and Mr. Martin went to bed not knowing the answer to that question. At 2:00 a.m. he awoke and all he could see in his mind was Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge. Finally he said, “Lord, if this is what I should do, then I’ll do it.” Then he was able to return to sleep. The next morning he drove to the bridge, armed with two tape measures, a tablet and pencil, and his camera, and began taking pictures and measurements of the bridge. He began construction of the model by building the bridge abutments. Martin, a retired mason, formed the abutments completely out of blue limestone and cement and estimates that it took eight months to build both ends. Work then began on construction of the bridge itself, built exactly like the real bridge, with Burr arches, X-braces, bottom cross joists, road planking, and floor guards shimmed up to allow water to escape. The bridge exterior is covered with batten siding and the roof with English cedar shake shingles cut by his wife’s nephew, Leon Zook. The project took some two years to complete and Martin thinks he made about twenty-five trips to the real bridge for more pictures and measurements. He estimates that he spent 190 hours working on the model. On June 28, 2008 the bridge was moved from Leon Martin’s home to the library at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society. Eight men were gathered to lift the bridge onto a truck and then off the truck and into place at the library. The Society wishes to thank all those who assisted in the move, Steffy’s Garage in Leola, who provided the truck for transport, John Herr, who built the supports for the bridge, and especially Leon Martin for the hours and hours of work and generosity. We invite anyone to visit the library and view the bridge for themselves.
About Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge

Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge was originally constructed in 1848 (some sources say 1843) by Joseph Russell and, at 180 feet in length, is the longest single-span covered bridge in Lancaster County. The original bridge was destroyed by flood waters in 1869 and the replacement was destroyed during Hurricane Agnes in 1972. In 1973 the bridge was reconstructed for a second time. On May 16, 2005 the bridge was closed after a tractor-trailer truck attempted to cross it. It was again repaired and is still in use. The bridge is located on Hunsecker Road and spans the Conestoga River between Manheim and Upper Leacock Townships.
Click here for a map and driving directions from the Historical Society to Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge.

Print Resources:

Evans, Benjamin D. and June R. Evans. Pennsylvania’s Covered Bridges: A Complete Guide. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, c1993.

Collins, Kenneth W. Covered Bridges of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. [Elizabethtown, Pa.: K.W. Collins], c2002 (Ephrata, PA : Printed by CPC/Science Press).

Online Resources:
Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge. Article on Wikipedia. Accessed July 21, 2008.

Hunsecker’s Mill Covered Bridge. Page on the website of Lancaster County PA Dutch Country. Accessed July 21, 2008.

Lancaster City Loop Covered Bridge Tour. From the Lancaster County website. Accessed July 21, 2008.