The South Perkasie Covered Bridge is the oldest covered bridge in Bucks County and it is the county's most historic covered bridge for several reasons. The bridge is the third-oldest Town Lattice bridge in the United States and it was also rescued from demolition in 1958 in a landmark historic preservation act.
The bridge was built by the county in 1832 in then-Rockhill Township near a mill owned by the Rev. John Andrew Strassburger. The bridge over the Pleasant Spring Creek connected the mill with several nearby villages. It soon became the focal point of a new village called Bridgetown, and then Benjamin, until Perkasie Borough annexed the village in 1898.
By 1939, Perkasie residents were complaining about the condition of three state- and county-owned covered bridges in their area and questioning county officials over the potential removal of the South Perkasie Covered Bridge. The bridge was spared from demolition and received an overhaul.
But in 1956, Perkasie Borough asked the Bucks County commissioners to remove the South Perkasie Covered Bridge as a traffic hazard. Council said increased motor traffic from the U.S. Gauge plant in neighboring Sellersville made the bridge unsafe. In October 1957, the commissioners condemned the bridge, but they delayed its removal until the summer of 1958.
Soon after the announcement, the Perkasie Historical Society said it would lead an effort to move the covered bridge to nearby Lenape Park. The society moved the bridge during an eight-day period in August 1958 that made national headlines. The South Perkasie Covered Bridge move also generated significant publicity about covered bridge preservation, which soon would make any state and county efforts to remove the wooden structures problematic.
Since then, the bridge has resided as a living museum in Lenape Park and it has become a key symbol of the Borough’s identity.
The bridge’s famous sign still reads, “$5.00 fine for any person riding or driving over this bridge faster than a walk or smoking a segar.”