Ackley Bridge

The Southern Portal of the Ackley Covered Bridge

The Ackley Covered Bridge as it appears today in Greenfield Village.
   Henry Ford created Dearborn's Greenfield Village in 1929 when he began collecting the homes and workplaces of innovative Americans from all across the country and restoring them in a park-like setting.
    In the mid-1930's, Ford began to search for a covered bridge to add to his Village.  Dozens of states claim covered bridges "that Henry Ford tried to buy."  Ford's interest in their bridges instilled heightened local pride.  As a result, many dilapidated covered bridges  were suddenly considered to have historic value, and were retained and repaired.
    Straddling Enlow Fork on the line between Washington and Greene counties in southwestern Pennsylvania stood a little 75' covered bridge. Built in 1832 by Joshua Ackley & Daniel Clouse the bridge had fallen into disrepair and was scheduled to be razed after 105 years of service.
    Mrs. Harleigh J. Carroll, Ackley's granddaughter, acquired the bridge and in turn  gave it to Henry Ford in 1937.
    Ford's men descended on the aging structure and gently dismantled it's massive kingpost trusses.  They then carefully trucked it 300 miles back toDearborn and reassembled the structure on it's present site.
The Ackley Covered Bridge in Greenfield Village

The Ackley Bridge was re-erected over a specially dug man-made river in Greenfield Village, where today it is seen and appreciated by thousands of visitors each year. Few covered bridges will ever find a safer or more pleasant environment in which to spend their retirement years.

Greenfield Village has acquired and preserved many additional buildings of historical interest including:
  • Thomas Edison's Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory
  • The Firestone Farm, birthplace of Harvey Firestone, brought from Columbiana County, Ohio
  • The Henry Ford birthplace
  • The Logan County Courthouse where Abraham Lincoln tried cases as a lawyer in Illinois
  • The Noah Webster house originally located in New Haven, Connecticut
  • The Wright Brothers Home & Cycle Shop from Dayton, Ohio.
Other notable American's represented include Stephen Foster, George Washington Carver, and Luther Burbank. The Village also consists of several shops, mills, schoolhouses, and a working 1913 carousel complete with a Wurlitzer band organ and hand-carved wooden animals which visitors can ride.

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