Documenting North America's past & present covered bridges


Sach's or Waterworks, Adams County

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If you would like to provide information on covered bridges that no longer exist from your state, or adopt a state to work on, we would certainly welcome your assistance. Please contact Trish Kane for more information.

Inventory Number: PA/38-01-01
County: Adams County
Township: Cumberland - Freedom
Bridge Name: Sach's or Waterworks
Crosses: Marsh Creek
Truss type: Town
Spans: 1
Length: 101'-3" overall, 95'-8" span
Roadway Width: 15'-6"
Built: 1852
Builder: David S.Stoner
When Lost: standing
Latitude: N39 47.84
Longitude: W077 16.57
See a map of the area
Topographic map of the area
Directions: 1.0 mile south-southwest of jct PA97 on Business US15, then 1.6 miles right on Pumping Station Rd. (LR01026 - SR3005) and 0.2 miles left on Waterworks Rd. (T405). About 5 miles southwest of Gettysburg.

Sauck's or Sachs Bridge, Cumberland-Freedom, Adams County, PA. Built 1854
Richard Donovan / Trish Kane Collection

Sauck's or Sachs Bridge, Cumberland-Freedom, Adams County, PA. Built 1854
Stephen Stroup Collection

Sauck's or Sachs Bridge after 1996/97 reconstruction, Cumberland-Freedom, PA Built 1854
© Lisa Plamondon
Sauck's or Sachs Bridge, Cumberland-Freedom, Adams County, PA. Built 1854
Jackson Betz Photo, September 2014

Sauck's or Sachs Bridge, Cumberland-Freedom, Adams County, PA. Built 1854
Bill Caswell Photo, July 27, 2013

From the December 15, 1851 Adams Sentinel, courtesy of Linda Burns: “The county commissioners are soliciting sealed bids for a "wooden bridge, latticed and roofed, over Marsh-creek, where the road leading from Gettysburg to Nunemaker's Mill crosses said Creek." The $1,544.00 contract for building this bridge was awarded in January 1852 to David S. Stoner and the structure was created later that year.” It is a single span Town Lattice Truss 101'6" long, with a 95'8" span, 15'4" roadway and a 12'7" clearance (measurements from a 1992 field study). From the Harold E. Colestock manuscript Yesterdays Bridges-Old Adams County Bridges: 040 1852--"Sachs Bridge"--A covered bridge was constructed, 100 feet long, using Connecticut architect lthiel Town's, Lattice truss design. It had German siding and a metal roof. The bridge was built across Lower Marsh Creek on the road from Gettysburg to Nunemaker's Mill. The contract was with David S. Stoner, with a cost of $1,544, dated January 24, 1852. … The contract on this bridge was published in Gettysburg's Sentinel. This was named the Water Works Bridge, and now the Sachs Bridge." On the night of July 3, 1863, General Robert E. Lee marched the major portion of his army over this bridge, when he retreated from the Gettysburg battlefield. After the defeat of Pickett's charge. It was also used by Union troops during the Gettysburg Campaign. The bridge slowly deteriorated as time went by. In 1968 a new Pumping Station Road bypassed it with a concrete bridge, and the old bridge was closed to traffic. In 1996 a project began to rehabilitate the bridge. A foot of rain felt on the night of June 19, 1996, the flooding lifted the bridge off its abutments and washed it downstream 100 yards. It was rebuilt in 1996-97 at the same site on new concrete abutments, capped with stone, that were built 3 feet higher than the original abutments. The bridge was rebuilt and dedicated on July 20, 1997. A plaque there says this is county bridge # 1. This is state bridge #8 according to The Gettysburg Times on January 17, 1952. Some of this information was obtained when the bridge was rededicated.
Evans, Benjamin D. & June R.. Pennsylvania's Covered Bridges, 2001, page 20
Moll, Fred J.. Pennsylvania's Covered Bridges - Our Heritage, 2004, pages 74-75
Kipphorn, Thomas. Information received by email, June 2013
Kipphorn, Thomas. Information received by email, January 2007
National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges. World Guide to Covered Bridges, 2009, page 96
Colestock, Harold E.. Yesterdays Bridges: Old Adams County Bridges, 1997, Pages 9-10

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