The OES visited Roberts Bridge on July 1, 2001. Roberts Bridge is one of only six double-barreled covered bridges in the United States and is the only double-barreled covered bridge in Ohio. Roberts Bridge is Ohio’s oldest covered bridge and is the second oldest covered bridge of any kind in the United States. Roberts Bridge was constructed in 1829 by Orlistus Roberts and James Campbell over Seven Mile Creek on Old Camden Pike south of Eaton. As the story goes, Roberts died before the bridge was completed. James Campbell, his seventeen-year-old apprentice, finished the bridge and married Roberts’ widow. All three of them are buried in a cemetery on the old Roberts farm.
By the 1880s, most of the original protective frame and structure were no longer present. The bridge underwent many repairs and revisions, but the actual load-bearing portion remained intact. Old Camden Pike eventually became US Route 127, connecting Toledo and Cincinnati. In the late 1920s, the state decided to reroute US 127, leaving Roberts Bridge on a lonely stretch of country road. On August 6, 1986, arsonists set fire to the bridge. Although the bridge was severely damaged and charred, it did not collapse due to its strong truss. It was finally decided to relocate and restore the bridge. The restoration was completed in 1991 as the bridge was moved to its new location on South Beech Street in Eaton. Thanks goes to Corrine for taking us to Roberts Bridge and relaying its history to us.
Location Information: Public Park
Roberts Bridge is just off of South Beech Street in Eaton; Preble County.