The Casselman River Bridge turns 201 years old this September, making it one of the oldest surviving bridges in the nation. In recognition of this milestone, a series of programs and activities will be held at the historic bridge on Saturday, September 20th, 2014. Programs will include guided walking tours with a park ranger at 2 pm and 4 pm, followed by a special fireside program at 7 pm. The walking tours will begin and end on the bridge, and each will consist of a 30 minute stroll on easy terrain. The fireside program will take place at the stone fireplace in the picnic area at Casselman River Bridge State Park. During this special program, retired Forest Manager, Champ Zumbrun, will present “The Lore of the Casselman” with campfire songs and stories. At the conclusion of the fireside program, the Casselman River Bridge will be adorned with 201 candle luminaries. All programs at the State Park will be offered free of charge. Gift items commemorating the Casselman River Bridge Bicentennial will be available for purchase at the bridge from 2 pm to 7 pm. Parking will be available at Casselman River Bridge State Park or at Penn Alps and Spruce Forest Artisan Village.
Spruce Forest Artisan Village will also be celebrating the 201st anniversary of the bridge by hosting its second annual Plein Air painting event on September 20, from 9 am to 4 pm. Artwork completed en plein air will be on display from 4:00 -4:30 pm, during which time the audience will be asked to choose their favorite submissions to be honored with one of two people’s choice awards. All artwork entered for Plein Air awards must be created entirely on site during the event. For more information or to pre-register for the Plein Air painting event, please e-mail Kathy at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Kathy at 814-634-0200 or 814-233-3262.
At the time of its construction in 1813, the Casselman River Bridge was the longest single-span, stone-arch bridge in the nation. The bridge served as an important transportation link until 1933, when a new steel bridge was built nearby. The bridge was closed to vehicles in 1953 and the area became established as a State Park in 1957. Today, the Casselman River Bridge is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and serves as a picturesque relic of the nation's early transportation history.