News

Community pitches in to deter Sachs Bridge vandalism

Written by Dustin B Levy/Hanover Evening Sun | Apr 27, 2017 6:39 PM
SachsBridge-1.jpg

The historic Sachs Covered Bridge stretches across Marsh Creek between Freedom Township and Cumberland Township. The Adams County-owned landmark was built in 1854 and was used by both sides in the Civil War. A surveillance system was recently installed to help curb vandalism and criminal mischief on the bridge.(Photo: Dan Rainville, The Evening Sun)

(Gettysburg) -- One of "the most iconic spots in Adams County" is also one of its most poorly treated.

That's why Adams County Commissioner Randy Phiel led a community effort to deter vandalism at the Sachs Covered Bridge, a historic landmark that connects Cumberland and Freedom townships.

Several county entities stepped up to install lights and cameras at the bridge in an attempt to prevent further human damage.

The Sachs Covered Bridge, built in 1854, was crossed by the Union and Confederate armies during the Battle of Gettysburg, according to a news release. The bridge is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

"Preserving and protecting that landmark is extremely significant," Phiel said.

As a teenager, Phiel recalled playing ice hockey under the bridge, according to the news release. He often patrolled the area during his career as a National Parks Service law enforcement ranger.

That gave Phiel additional perspective on the mischief at the bridge, which he says has always occurred but has increased of late.

"The recent popularity of the spiritual (ghost) phenomena, with digital cameras and recorders, has put additional pressure on this historic resource, especially after dark," Phiel stated in a news release.

Phiel's efforts included reaching out to entities like the Gettysburg Municipal Authority, the Adams Electric Cooperative, the First Energy Foundation and neighboring landowner Tim Shields.

The authority has a plant on the Cumberland Township side of the bridge that uses Marsh Creek, which runs below, and agreed to supply power for the lights and cameras, according to the news release. Adams Electric Cooperative provided the lights on each side of the bridge and poles on which cameras are now mounted.

The First Energy Foundation approved a $5,000 grant for the cameras at the bridge, and Shields plans to create a parking area on his property, according to the news release.

These efforts cannot completely protect the bridge, but Phiel is hopeful "it is a proactive step in protecting this beautiful and historic county resource for future enjoyment," according to the news release.

Published in Adams County, News

Tagged under , , , , , ,

back to top

Give Now

Estate Planning

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Smart Talk

National Edward R. Murrow Awards

DuPont Columbia Awards

Support Local Journalism

Latest News from NPR

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »