Save The Shade!
Save The Shade!
It is urged that the Fairfield County Parks Department, c/o The Village of Sugar Grove to halt the proposed demolition of the existing structures located on the property: 4065 Sullivan Rd Sugar Grove, OH 43155 and to reevaluate its restorative options.
The Misty Valley Farm and all structures on the parcel have a unique history (going back to 1871---- The Shade Bridge was designed by Theodore Burr and built in 1883. Originally located outside Waterloo, Ohio (Fairfield County) spanning Little Walnut Creek, it rested over a placid section of the green corn fields stretching behind it. The unusual bridge is a “Belt and Suspenders” design with arches built into the sides and vertical beams for double safety, thus the name Belt and Suspenders. The transfer and restoration of Shade Bridge was the dream and was then the reality of Bill Pierson, who believed that this structure was a piece of heritage and should be preserved.
Shade Bridge is the longest covered bridge in Fairfield County. Running for approximately 150′, it spans the small creek on Misty Valley Farm. Relocated in 91, (per documents obtained from Fairfield County Auditor’s Office*), its many various desirable features include its rich history and deep ties to Fairfield County and The Village of Sugar Grove.
The ‘Mae Hummel Covered Bridge’ (Berne Township Bridge) was originally built in 1865 in Rush Creek 6.9 miles east of Horns Mill. In 1990, disassembled, it was moved to Sugar Grove City Park. Another rich piece of architecture with its sturdy Smith Truss and arches design has alas, proven the feat of time. The bridge was founded April 29, 1829; it was named after the Canton of Berne, Switzerland. Not much is known of Hummel’s history but that her value surpassed being demolished, and she was moved in the late 1990s to Sugar Grove.
It is possible that keeping the original bridge is a viable option, contrary to some previous claims. *A LOCAL CONTRACTOR HAS VERIFIED THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY OF BOTH AND ARE ABLE TO BE RESTORED.
Would repairing the original bridges save TENS OF THOUSANDS of dollars, and end up with more value for the existing budget? (Not only monetary savings but the option for an OFFICIAL LISTING WITH THE OHIO HISTORY CONNECTION)
Federal and State Funding for the protected land and structures and an opportunity to have a Natural Preserve for the Village of Sugar Grove, which currently does not exist.)
---------The Cabin, Current Farmhouse, burial grounds and other structures on the land should be surveyed for rehabilitation and historical context, as well.
Please initiate a reevaluation of the restorative options available, considering the structural engineering, material, labor, financial and other requirements, if any. Please allow this reevaluation to be conducted by at least one qualified, impartial entity.