ADAMS COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) – Along Pumping Station Road in Cumberland Township, Adams County, you can find a historical marker for the Sachs Covered Bridge. That bridge still exists, and you can see it from the marker. Travel a few hundred yards further down, turn onto Waterworks Road, and you’re there.

The bridge, which crosses Marsh Creek, was built in 1852 using a latticed truss design invented by architect and civil engineer Ithiel Town of Connecticut. (He actually had a patent for it).

It’s 100 feet long, and 15 feet wide. It’s also called Sauck’s Covered Bridge and Waterworks Covered Bridge.

During the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the bridge was used by both Union and Confederate troops.  The First Corps and two Brigades of the Third Corps of the Union Army crossed it on July 1, 1863. Most of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia used the bridge during their retreat after losing the battle.

In 1938, Pennsylvania’s Department of Highways, the forerunner to today’s Department of Transportation, designated it Pennsylvania’s “most historic bridge.”

In 1968, the bridge was 116 years old, and was starting to show its years. But rather than tear it down and replace it, Cumberland Township officials closed it to vehicles, and it became pedestrian-only.

In 1980, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Then in 1996 it almost got washed away. On June 19 a flash flood severely damaged the bridge, knocking it off its abutments, and washing it 100 yards downstream. The bridge was already undergoing a half-million-dollar restoration; the flood damage tacked on an additional $100,000 to the cost.

The Sachs Covered Bridge was rededicated on July 21, 1997, reopened to pedestrian traffic, and maintained by the Gettysburg Preservation Association.