Conneaut is located on the shore of Lake Erie in northeastern Ohio. Lake Erie is the fourth largest (by surface area) of the five Great Lakes. Only Lake Ontario is smaller. However, by water volume, Lake Erie is the smallest since it is the most shallow. We were parked at the Evergreen Lake Park just off Interstate 90 on the south side of Conneaut.
Conneaut is in Ashtabula County which has 18 covered wooden bridges throughout the county. Apparently, the original objective for covered bridges was to protect and preserve the bridge structure. Since the entire bridge was built with wood, it was subject to wear from weather and sun and therefore, the average life of a wooden bridge was 10 to 15 years. By building a covering for the bridge, it was protected from rain, snow and sun and lasted much longer. The development of the wooden truss design allowed bridges to span greater distances. Most of the covered bridges in Ashtabula County were built in the late 1800’s with most of them having undergone substantial renovation in recent years.
One of the covered bridges in Ashtabula County is the Smolen-Gulf Bridge which is listed as the longest covered bridge in the United States at 613 feet long. However, in all fairness, this a relatively new bridge having been dedicated in August 2008. When the former bridge was found to be unsafe, the replacement was designed as a covered bridge.
Next stop: Jamestown, NY