The bridge

Moving Henszey's Bridge


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The Rev. James W. LeVan, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Slatington, Pa., provided Central Pennsylvania College with five black-and-white photographs showing Henszey's bridge in its original location in Slatington. He also supplied the notes that appear below the images.

Bridge image

"A look up Main Street from 1899 or 1900. The steeple of the brick Baptist Church at the top left is enclosed in scaffolding as it is being constructed. The Victorian home across the street was known as the Costenbader house, for the original family that resided there. It was lost to fire in the mid-1990s."

Bridge image

"A side view of the double-span bridge over Trout Creek. This may be a rather early picture. There are two beautiful Victorian homes from the turn of the last century not built yet. They replaced the two homes on the left."

Bridge detail

[An enlargement of the bridge view from the preceding image. Note the shadows cast by the arches on the bridge deck, and what appears to be a sign spanning the bridge near the midpoint. It is possible that this image was made before the downward-curving camber rods were added below the arches; while the rods themselves would be difficult to see in a picture made from a distance, the heavy vertical plates that keep the rods away from the bridge's bottom chord would probably be visible. There is no indication of a stone pier under the middle of the far span, believed to be the one that has survived.]

Bridge image

[Labelled as "Lower Slatington from above the Main Street Bridge. Kern Grist Mill in center."] "A picture from a 1989 local-history book, Slatington and Surrounding Communities. The Kern Grist Mill was torn down about 20 years ago. Notice the wooden walkway alongside the road and bridge." [Note also that the sign near the middle of the bridge is visible in this image as well.]

Bridge image

"A horse-drawn funeral procession coming up Main Street. I am told this scene occurred after a terrible train wreck in Slatington. Notice there are a several hearses, as there were a number of fatalities. I am aware of two terrible train wrecks with multiple deaths in Slatington when the bridge was in place -- April 1878 and August 1900. This picture is said to be after one of those two train wrecks. An old newspaper article tells that in the 1878 explosion there was damage to the wooden planks of the bridge."

Bridge image

"The stone support columns [here seen supporting the missing mate to the surviving Henszey's span] are still in place holding up the current bridge [which replaced the Henszey's bridge in 1901]. This scene, which probably shows a typical day, was reprinted for a 1964 Slatington Centennial commemorative souvenir book and for a 1976 Bicentennial calendar." [Note the railroad tracks under the bridge and, over the stone pier, children clinging to the arch.]

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