CENTRAL PENN COLLEGE'S HISTORY
This single span wrought-iron bowstring truss was based on the 1869 patent of Joseph Henszey. First designed to carry Main Street over Trout Creek in Slatington, PA, the bridge was moved in 1900 to Wanamakers to span the Ontelaunee Creek. One unique feature of this bridge is the lower cord assembly; horizontal bars that arch below the bars from the end supports and midspan. 19th Century wrought iron bowstring arch bridges like this have all but vanished from American landscapes. This all wrought iron bowstring arch bridge is on our National Register of Historic Places.
On January 16, 2001, Central Penn College was informed by the PA Department of General Services that they held the winning bid on the Ontelaunee Creek Bridge. Specialty contractors began the massive relocation and restoration project. On January 22, 2002, the historic bridge was lifted from its home of 100 years and traveled to Greiner Industries in Mt. Joy, where it was restored. On May 6, 2002, the newly refurbished historic bridge traveled across three counties to finally rest on the campus of Central Penn College in Summerdale, Pennsylvania.
Throughout the restoration and moving process, the 93 foot span did not lose any of its historic integrity. Concrete forms were replicated to match the old stone piers on which the bridge rested. The deck remains 15 feet wide and is composed of strong oak planks. In certain places it is 22 feet high from the ground level. It is ADA compliant, is equipped with handrails, and is illuminated for traversing at night.
Today Henszey's Bridge serves as a pedestrian walkway for students, faculty, staff, and visitors on the campus of Central Penn College. The bridge symbolizes the high quality hands-on education that the college provides to connect students to their career dreams.
Did You Know?
The Boyer House
The Boyer House, which today houses College offices and a museum, dates back to 1737 and has seen very few changes during its long history.