The John Bright #2 Covered Bridge #35-23-10was built in 1881 by Augustus Borneman. John Bright was a very successful farmer south west of Baltimore, Ohio, he had a 300 acre farm.
Poplar Creek was the site of Bright Community Church, Old Camp Meeting Ground and a Grist Mill. The original Bright Covered Bridge#2 before its relocation was over Poplar Creek in Fairfield County.
Augustus Borneman, a Prussian immigrant who was a prolific bridge designer and builder in Ohio. This 74 foot long single span bridge has an inverted arch bowstring suspension truss closely resembling the 1875 patent for a metal truss designed by William Black, a former partner of Mr. Borneman.
The bridge features wooden upper chords, end posts and immediate verticals with metal rod cross bracing. An inverted eyebar arch is suspended from the top of the end posts. The bridge also has a Burr arch that was added in 1913, following a flood which washed away 12 other bridges in the county. The cost to build the original structure was $13.25 per lineal foot or $980.50
This bridge is distinctive because it is one of only two bowstring trusses in the United States. The other covered bridge is located in Germantown, Ohio in Montgomery County. My article for January 2001.
In the spring of 1988, the bridge was transported with only the roof removed to the campus of the Lancaster Branch of Ohio University. Just twelve miles from its original location. The bridge now crosses Fetters Run. Most of the original siding had been removed by vandals.
The bridge was moved by Bill Dingey Movers of Zanesville. Enough concrete was used to build a good size garage, to rebuild the existing abutments and over six hundred man hours were spent in rebuilding the concrete abutments. The roofing was rebuilt with the original rafters and a new corrugated tin roof. Poplar siding was donated by E.B. Miller.
The painting of the exterior was a special Venetian Red formula of Iron Oxide and Linseed Oil. Fund raising was made by The Nannie B. Martens Estate, Fairfield Covered Bridge Association, and the Visitor and Convention Bureau of Lancaster.
The moving of the bridge, the donated man hours, the gift of the siding, and other in kind donations; the total cost to rebuild the John Bright #2 Covered Bridge was approximately $30,000 to bring it back to its former glory. The formal bridge re-dedication ceremony was on Friday, October 28, 1988.
The John Bright #2 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Bridge now welcomes visitors to the Lancaster Campus of Ohio University & the Lancaster Festival and is the perfect complement to a University and a County rich in history.