Scenic USA - Pennsylvania

Old Stone Arch Bridge

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Old Stone Arch Bridge -  Lewistown, Pennsylvania

Photos by Ben Prepelka
Scenic USA Photography

   Knowing it wouldn't be easy, small groups of settlers arrived in central Pennsylvania in the early 1700s to start fresh, enjoy their religious freedom, and establish farms and businesses in what was considered a wilderness. Retaining some reminders of home back in Europe, the Scotch-Irish from Londonderry named their new homestead Derry Township. Along with subsistence farming, some settlers built mills and general merchandise stores. It wasn't long until these "small worlds" expanded and eventually were linked together with turnpikes. Local iron and steel companies took root, sending their products across the state. Freedom Forge began its iron works in 1795, laying the foundation of modern steel industry.
   By the beginning of the 19th century, Stone Arch Bridge -  Lewistown, Pennsylvanialocal roads and railroads were extended from town to town. In 1800, Harrisburg was connected to Pittsburgh with a rudimentary turnpike.
   Today, the old turnpike has either been covered over in concrete and asphalt, or simply faded away over time. One reminder of this historic route is the Old Stone Arch Bridge in Lewistown, built in 1813. The bridge stands as a reminder of yesteryear and the unique craftsmanship of bridge builders. One of the few stone bridges built without a keystone, the Lewistown Stone Bridge is more than 200 years old. Part of a 2002 enhancement grant, the bridge underwent a total refurbishment in 2005. The landscaping, walkways and bank stabilization project was completed the following year, creating a park-like atmosphere around this historic landmark. Spanning Jacks Creek, this bridge site offers photographers, bridge hunters and sightseers a great place to end the day.

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