The origins of Frankenfield’s Bridge in Tinicum Township are a bit of a mystery. Today, it remains as one of the most remote Bucks County covered bridges.
In 1872, Bucks County advertised for a contractor to build a new wooden structure over the Tinicum Creek. The bridge specifications called it Hillpot’s Bridge, built with an oak truss and pine sidings and roof. By 1893 the structure was officially known as Frankenfield’s Bridge.
Both the Hillpot and Frankenfield families have long ties to the Tinicum community. One possible connection to the bridge was Henry Frankenfield, a well-known contractor who lived in the village of Sundale, near the bridge.
According to Clifton Swenk Hunsicker’s Montgomery County: A History (1923), Frankenfield was “a carpenter and builder by trade, he built up a prosperous business at Sundale and his influence and workmanship may be found in many of the finest buildings in Bucks County.” Henry’s son, Luther, continued the business in Montgomery County.
Frankenfield’s Bridge remained in Bucks County’s possession after the 1930s movement to replace covered bridges. During the 1970s, county and local officials debated the best course of action for the bridge, which was noticeably leaning by 1970. While there was some discussion of closing the bridge to traffic and keeping it as a walking bridge, the county was able to fund a $170,000 renovation project in 1977 that added steel beams under the bridge’s floor.