June 24, 2010 – Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge, Cecil County’s very own bridge to the past, is prepared for a solid run through the 21st century since master bridgewrights completed restoration work a few months ago. To celebrate that milestone about 75 supporters, politicians, and county officials gathered at the span on June 24th, a hot summer day, to dedicate the structure. During remarks at the ribbon-cutting it was noted that the American Public Works Association, Virginia/DC/Maryland Chapter, awarded the Historical Restoration the “Project of The Year” for 2010.
As links to our past disappear all too fast in the 21st century in Cecil, the old structure that survived the test of the time (the Civil War, the automobile age, floods, and lack of care) is a local preservation success story thanks to the work of a dedicated friend of the span, Earl Simmers. This surviving pre-Civil War relic was at great risk of being lost a few years ago. But Earl never gave up on the link to our past. He worked tirelessly to ensure that this old structure was not lost to age, neglect or indifference. Spearheading a fund drive that raised private money to help with the cost, he also sought out grants and political support for the old structure.
Thanks Mr. Simmers for making this a Cecil County preservation success story since this aging covered bridge stands as silent proof about our area’s past. The county puts a lot of effort into marketing Cecil to tourist, relocating BRAC workers, and higher-end corporations. Our natural beauty, historical character, and cultural resources are things these target groups find most appealing here.
As links to our past quickly disappear in the 21st century in the county, historic preservation is a worthy goal.
For more information and many more photos on the span check out the Maryland Covered Bridges website. Photo courtesy of Maryland Covered Briges web master.