CROSSWICKS, ASAY SPRINGS COVERED BRIDGE
Burlington / Mercer Counties
Crosswicks, Asay Springs Covered Bridge
URL for this photograph: http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2790/1877/1600/CropsswicksBridgeOriginalSepia.jpg
Source for this photograph: http://glover320.blogspot.com/search/label/CROSSWICKS
Crosswicks, Asay Springs Bridge, Crosswicks, Burlington/Mercer Counties, NJ
Built 1833 Replaced 1908 (Elna Johnson Collection)
Courtesy of Covered Spans of Yesteryear at: http://www.lostbridges.org/
URL for this article:
Taken from the Chesterfield Township map in the
1876 J.D. Scott Burlington County Atlas, courtesy of Historic Map Works at:
Taken from a 1906 USGS topographic map of the Bordentown Quadrangle
Courtesy of Maptech
Present three-span bridge just west of the site, courtesy of Bing Maps at: http://www.bing.com/maps/
Yellow box marks possible remnants of the abutments on the Mercer County (north) side.
Above black and white photo and map showing the actual site courtesy of:
Actual site of the covered bridge. Tell-tale signs of the
old course of the road exist in the landscape in this 1940
aerial image courtesy of HistoricAerials.com, using the
hand-drawn map as a base.
NJ/30-03-04x and NJ/30-11-04x Crosswicks, Asay Springs Bridge- Spanned Crosswicks Creek. The original source (Of Time, Fire and the River, Brydon, Norman F. 1970, pages 7-9) states that it was a Howe Truss, built in 1833 although the photo shows a Town Lattice. It should be noted that 1833 predates the Howe Truss, dated to 1840.
A December 2, 1908 article from the Trenton Times (no longer in publication), courtesy of Historian Thomas Glover at: http://glover320.blogspot.com/2008_02_01_archive.html also states it was “an old style lattice truss bridge, which was built without a nail being driven into it”. The 1908 article further stated that the first bridge at the site was built about 1738 and “was used by the Hessians just previous to the Battle of Trenton, when they were making great efforts to hold off General Washington in this neighborhood”.
It was a single span structure that was later propped up in the center with what appears to be a wooden bent. In 1856 American eagles with wings spread over a globe and massed American flags were painted on each portal by Henry J. Bazzel. A foot path on the west side, enclosed in glass, was added in 1866 (1856, Trenton Times article). According to Of Time, Fire and the River, the bridge was removed in 1908 and replaced by an iron structure, “built by Newton A.K. Bugbee, about 60ft distant from the old one and for the purpose of straightening the curve in the turnpike” (Quotes, Trenton Times). As the article is dated December 2, 1908 and states the covered bridge “has been sold and will be removed in a few months”, it likely survived into the early part of 1909.
The iron bridge was about 144ft long on the Histricaerials.com scale and was replaced by the present structure at the same site between 1979 and 1995 (Historicaerials.com) As the covered bridge was in the immediate area, it was probably close to the same length.
Recently discovered information, courtesy of http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~batsto/PhotoList.html seems to indicate that this area had also been known as Asay Springs. Some text from this site: “... Asay Springs may not refer to an area, but to actual springs that are located in the White Horse area of present day Hamilton [Township], across the Crosswicks Creek from Bordentown. That approximate area is the former location of a house once known as the Asay-Cubberly house. It was the home of Isaac Asay (son of Joseph, I believe), from 1849-1858 and maybe longer. A good account of the area can be found in Louis Berger & Associates, Historic Sites, Trenton Complex Archaeology: Report 12, The Cultural Resource Group, Louis Berger and Associates, Inc., East Orange NJ, Prepared for the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Bureau of Environmental Analysis, Trenton, 1998. (That's a long way of saying they had to study the area before they could build a new highway. If you have a recent map of NJ, you'll see the area is now pretty well covered by the intersection of I-295 and I-195.) The springs were tapped to provide water to Bordentown in 1906.”
A hand-drawn map at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~batsto/Towns/Asay/AsayMap.bmp indicates the actual site of the bridge was on an abandoned stretch of present Church Street (CR472) leading about 330ft from the main road, northward to the site, which is about 70ft upstream (east) of the present bridge. It was oriented north to south connecting the village of Crosswicks in Chesterfield Township, Burlington County to North Crosswicks in Hamilton Township, Mercer County. Coordinates adjusted eastward to the actual site.
40° 9.3336’N, 74° 38.8584’W