The Black Covered Bridge (Pugh’s Mill) #35-09-03 is located in Oxford, Ohio in Butler County. Built between 1868 – 1869 by Bandon, Buttlin & Bowman at the the cost of $6,465.00. Spans 4 Mile Creek at a length of 220 feet, width of 24 feet, and height of 25 feet. 4 Mile Creek accepts spill over from Acton Lake at Houston Woods State Park, three miles north.The bridge rest on one stone pier and cut stone abutments
The exterior is naturally weathered. There is an 18 inch tall horizontal ventilation panel extending the length of the bridge on both sides A variation of the Long truss, called a Child-Long truss. This truss has three members forming an “ X “ panel and two members forming the vertical that divides the panels.
The only remaining covered bridge in Butler County still located on its original abutments. The Black was built to carry traffic from the merging Morning Sun and Sommerville Roads into Oxford. the bridge attracted a sawmill, a distillery, and a trading post to create a settlement from which flat boats in spring headed down the 4 Mile Creek for the rivers and New Orleans. When state route 732 bypassed the bridge in 1953, the control of the Black Covered bridge was reverted the the county commissioners who turned it over to the Oxford Museum Association for maintenance and preservation.
The Black covered Bridge has been restored. Renovation was done by William Brode of Newcomerstown, Ohio and Amish carpenters. Monies were raised from a $226,000.00 grant, $100,000.00 from local contributions, and $330,000.00 from the Butler County Engineers Department, a total cost of $656,000.00. The exterior now has a new cedar shake roof and the sides have been painted.
Interestingly enough, this photographer finds that my article for October 2000 on the George Hutchins Covered Bridge now located in Charles F.Alley Memorial Park in Lancaster, and the Black covered Bridge in Oxford both had the renovation opening day ceremony on Sunday, 8 October 2000 at 2:00 p.m. The Alley Park Officials and the Oxford Museum Association did not know that each was having an opening ceremony on the same day. I spoke with William King, the Director of the Oxford Museum Association and he told me that donations are always appreciated but that if a person wanted to be part of the Save Our Span (S.O.S.), you may purchase a brick as in the photograph for $250.00. The Black covered Bridge is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Directions: From Oxford, one half mile, north on State Route 732. a left hand turn just before 4 Mile Creek.