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Paradise, PA
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Eshleman's Mill Covered Bridge
bridge
On Belmont Road about 1/2 mile north of Highway 30 Paradise, PA

Crossing Pequea Creek, this bridge also known as Paradise Bridge or Leaman Place Bridge is located on the boundary between Paradise and Leacock townships on what was part of the original Ferree land. It has a single span, wooden, double Burr arch trusses design with the addition of steel hanger rods. It is 15 feet wide and 113 feet in length. The floor is oak, the shingles on the roof are cedar, and the siding is Georgian pine. Both approaches to the bridge are painted in the traditional white color and the bridge inside and out is painted red, the traditional color of Lancaster County covered bridges.

Originally built by James C. Carpenter in 1845 at a cost of $993, rebuilt in 1893 by Elias McMellen at a cost of $2,431 and was rehabilitated in 2004. Records indicate it may be the last covered bridge built on a public road in Lancaster County. The bridge has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places since 1981.

In the mid 1980's, an eighteen wheel tractor and trailer crossed the bridge, despite warnings of height limits, and tore the entire top off the bridge. The bridge was closed for three months for repairs. The driver was charged with reckless driving, was fined, and released until his hearing. He did not report for the scheduled hearing. Years later he was arrested for speeding in Pittsburgh, was identified, and returned to Lancaster County.

Source: "Paradise, Our Heritage, Our Home" published by Paradise Township Citizens Committee, Inc., edited by Robert C. Denlinger; "300 Years in Paradise" published by Paradise Township Anniversary Committee, Paradise, PA.