Clipping courtesy of James Monroe, 11 January 2020|
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BOVINA BRIDGE – This graceful arch bridge at Bovina Center is photographed in this old picture as a horse and buggy traverse it.
REPORTER, WALTON, N.Y. FRIDAY, JUNE
OLDER THAN BROOKLYN BRIDGE – Built in 1875 and rebuilt in 1880, the Bovina Center stone bridge stands as a monument to the ingenuity of early residents. The incredibly thin top of the arch has carried the weight of traffic on the main artery of the Bovina section for 75 years. Tank trucks weighing as much as 20 tons loaded still pass over daily. Bridge is to be removed some day soon.
Built by W. R. Seacord and A.B. Phyfe under Highway Commisioner John R. Hoy, the Bovina Center stone bridge yet resists the ravages of use above and running water beneath. The arch is a segment of a 50-foot circle and when first built had an opening for a water race under one end.
The race was owned by a man named Scott, who had a water wheel in the race for churning butter. The churnhouse stood just below the present end of the bridge. It was later used as a storehouse and is now the home of Frank McPherson.
The first bridge was not strong enough because of many small stones used in the construction. It became so weakened that in 1880 it was taken down and immediately rebuilt, this time with larger stone at strategic points. Local men went into the woods and cut trees with forked branches to make hangars for the supports. Five wooden arches were made and covered over with 3 x 4 timbers on which the stones were laid in position.
After the top was laid, thin cement was poured between the cracks, and the wooden supports removed. The new bridge was on the exact site of the old one. All the stones were procured from the immediate vicinity, and the large ones in the second structure were cut by two men, Cook and Currie.
M. R. Hoy of Oil City, Pa., former resident of Bovina Center, remembers watching the work on both bridges. He is a son of John R. Hoy, the builder. A marker was put on the bridge in the form of a flat stone with the date and the names of the builders engraved on it. It was reset into the new bridge but when the new road was built in 1913, the roadbed was so raised as to cover it.
The protecting walls on the bridge have been repaired from time to time, and as a result, the marker came dislodged. It was found 10 years ago in the brook bed beneath by a great grand son of John R. Hoy. It is now in his possession.