THEN & NOW
The George Hutchins Covered Bridge # 35-23-13 was built in 1904 by James W. Buchanan at an original cost of $700.00. The bridge is 58 feet long and has a multiple kingpost truss, a single span with cut stone abutments. The Bridge originally crossed Clear Creek with an average bed width of about 50 feet wide in the vicinity of the bridge. Clear Creek drains into the southwestern portion of Fairfield County.
In the summer of 1986 this bridge was in a deteriorating condition. Some white plank siding was missing, allowing the floor to be exposed to the elements. The floor planking is laid lengthwise and would last for years if the side planking was repaired. the bridge has a rusted tin roof which seems to be preventing weather damage. The bridge was originally located on Township Road #137 (Stricker Road).
In 1987 the Lancaster Parks & Recreation Department took apart the bridge and placed it in storage to be used at a later time. As of 5 September 2000 the George Hutchins Bridge has been reconstructed in the Charles F. Alley Memorial Park. Restoration costs were $35 to $40,000.00. Only 25% of the original materials were used in the reconstruction. Labor was provided by the Lancaster Parks & Recreation Department.
This park was made possible by a gift and purchase agreement from Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Alley and the Land and Water Conservation Act administered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and initiated by the city of Lancaster. Charles Alley Memorial Park is located on Old Logan Road in Berne Township of Fairfield County and has approximately 300 acres. There are over eight miles of marked trails for hiking and two lakes have been stocked by Division of Wildlife for fishing.
There are rules that help the park rangers and attendants maintain the parks for the enjoyment of everyone. The rules are as follows: no alcoholic beverages, bikes, and motor vehicles are prohibited on the trails, please walk only on marked trails, dogs must be on a leash at all times, no swimming in the lakes, fishing licenses are required by Ohio Law, bank fishing only, no firearms at any time, and please, leave the wildflowers, ferns and any vegetation growing for everyone to enjoy.
Parks are for your enjoyment, to allow you to find the peacefulness and the serenity that is always found in the quietness and dependability of nature. As you walk through the park, leave only your footsteps and take only happy memories.
DIRECTIONS: The George Hutchins Covered bridge is located on scenic Lake Loretta over a small cove. The Bridge dedication took place at 2:00 p.m. on 8 October 2000.

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