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Old Covered Bridge - Beaver Falls PA

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In this c1890 photo the advertisement-laden Old Covered Bridge, constructed in 1835, spans the Beaver River between Beaver Falls on left and New Brighton on right. The PRR Railroad Bridge and 10th Street Bridge (top) are both visible as well. On the right of the photo you can see the old Beaver & Erie Canal, which opened in 1844 but was abandoned in 1872.

A closeup of the Beaver Falls end of the Covered Bridge c1895. This was a toll bridge and it also carried the streetcars of the Beaver Valley Traction Company between Beaver Falls and New Brighton beginning about 1891.

A closeup of the side of the old span. This bridge replaced an earlier wooden span that was built in 1810 but was swept away in about 1817. I’m guessing there was no bridge at this location again until 1835?

A produce-laden horse-drawn wagon is about to cross over the bridge on its way to New Brighton. Beaver Falls was originally known as Brighton, but when New Brighton was incorporated in 1838 it (Beaver Falls) was generally known as Old Brighton and then became Beaver Falls in 1868.

A view of the PRR Railroad Bridge and the Old Covered Bridge looking east into New Brighton in 1869. The Black Horse Tavern, which I believe is the left-most building located between the two bridges, was built in about 1804 and was one of the earliest businesses in Beaver Falls (then known as Brighton and later as Old Brighton). The tavern burned down in about 1890.

This c1891 photo was taken after the Black Horse Tavern was gone and the Valley Glass Company (initially known as the Whitla Glass Company until April 1890) was built nearby in about 1887-88. The glasswares manufacturing company, employing 150 men and led by President J. C. Whitla, burned down on April 9, 1892, and was never rebuilt. The Old Covered Bridge was torn down in 1900 as more modern bridges were being built.

The landscape of the area changed considerably with the construction of more modern bridges by the early 1900’s. (c1918)


  1. I recently found a noss print of a photograph dated 1866 showing a panaramic view of the old covered bridge and beaver falls. It was ina collection railroad photos. Is this something that would be of interest to you. Let me know. Any place I can read more about this bridge and Mr. Noss.ry

  2. After I saw your article about the bridge I realized mny picture is the same as the one you show. Except mine has the date on it pf 1866> I hope this is a little helpful jerry

  3. (EDITOR’s NOTE) Jerry. Thanks a bunch. You mentioned a photo in your possession marked as 1866. Which photo is it above? It must be an earlier photo because I dont think any of mine are that old. Is it marked on the front as part of the photo itself (like the writing on pics #2 and #6 above) or did someone write on the back of it in pen or pencil? If you can go ahead and email me a copy. I would greatly appreciate that. Thanks.

  4. jeff: my picture is similar to the one with tavern in it. as stated on the front it has in white letters: noss 1866. Perhaps if you look at yours and it has a wider view it will be the same as mine. Is there anything at all left as evidence of the original bridge? it seems to me it would probably be the lopngest covered bridge in the world if it were intact. I have alwaus wondered about the reason for a covered bridge: any thoughts. jerry I would like to keep ion touch and see what else you can tell me about the bridge and Mr. noss.


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