Friday, September 30, 2011

Walter's Mill

Walter's Mill Covered Bridge

In the early 19th century, Pennsylvania's prospering agriculture led to transporting goods to nearby cities.  The condition of roads and bridges became critically important to the economy.  Covered bridges were designed to protect the bridge floors and supporting structures from the elements. 

The Walter's Mill Bridge was built in 1859 and was originally located on Coxes Creek four miles south of the town of Somerset.  Major repairs were made to the bridge in 1909 to accommodate heavier "modern" vehicles. 

Increasing road development threatened  the bridge with destruction, so it was moved to Route 986 at the site of the Somerset Historical Center in the early 1960s and was extensively restored in 1986.  Now spanning Haupt's Run, the bridge is open to pedestrian traffic and serves as a pleasant reminder of simpler times.

Near the Historical Center there is a restored 1790's log farmhouse built by Adam Miller, along with a barn, a detached summer kitchen, and a smokehouse--one of the few still standing.  At the farmhouse you can see and learn how farmers lived in the 18th century.  For example, meats smoked for preservation were stored for months without spoiling in the second story attic of the farmhouse where the children's bedrooms were also located.  The main floor of the house functioned as a multi-purpose room--kitchen, work room, and parent's bedroom.

Life was much different then from what we know today with our advanced technology and modern conveniences.  People were more patient then.  Our time-saving inventions train us to have difficulty"waiting" and compel us to squeeze more into our calendars rather than spending more quiet time with God and family.
Adam Miller's Farmhouse
"Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains" (James 5:7).

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