Saturday, November 13, 2010

Risser's Mill Covered Bridge

When we moved here almost 25 years ago, this quaint covered bridge was part of the short cut to the only grocery store at the time, in Mount Joy. We used it to get to the grocery store, to our doctor's office and to the store in Elizabethtown. It was also the shortest route to get to the main road to Harrisburg and points west.

In 2002, an arsonist destroyed the bridge and while it was "cleaned up" almost immediately, the scar remained but the bridge, because it was at the intersection of 3 municipalities and a historic site, was not rebuilt because all the factions could not come to an agreement about how it should be replaced.

Meanwhile, all the above trips became much more inconvenient as we had to travel a pretty circuitous route to get to all those places.

In the year preceding her death in 2005, our mother decided to take up the cause of the bridge and made it her mission to nag our state representative - probably monthly. Nothing happened, and after she died, the years passed and it looked like the bridge would never be replaced.

This summer, there seemed to be some activity on the little road that was basically closed to through traffic. My husband and son decided to go take a look and lo and behold, the bridge was finally being rebuilt. This has been going on for months (it's just a little creek!) One day they told me they had actually crossed the new bridge on their scooters and I drove down the road a day or two later to take a better look. Barricades were up so far from the bridge that I could hardly see, but, yep, there was a bridge there.

This morning, I passed the road on my way to the local hardware store (which was also a much shorter trip with the bridge) and saw an electric sign, next to the now-familiar "Bridge Out" signs. What could it be? Really? I moved to an angle where I could read the sign, "New bridge will open Nov. 18"!!!!

How exciting! The new bridge - apparently a covered bridge replica has been rebuilt there (though I'm not sure and haven't see it) - will be available again! Mom would be so happy! (Editing later to say: The replacement bridge was NOT a covered bridge. In fact, it is a very simple bridge - similar to one we have considered building ourselves in the dark of night. I have no idea what ever took so long!)

This event caused us to think about Mom and the things she dreamed of around here... of course, the bridge, but also a "Dollar Tree" which was just built this summer, and a new beautiful "Giant" grocery store full of a great selection of foods. Mom would have been so happy about these things.

We're thinking we should do something special in her honor when the new bridge opens - our own little ceremony. And since my sister moved here, she has never used any of those routes, so she'll have to relearn her way around. I bet she'll be thrilled because it'll take her past the wild persimmon tree we found a few years ago!


Tina Sams said...

SHUT UP! You didn't tell me about the TREE!!!

Maryanne said...

Oh yes, we often passed it back in the days of the bridge...... heh heh heh.