Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge is an excellent example of a bridge paired with a mill that serviced a local rural community. Today, the mill remains next to the state-owned covered bridge, adjacent to a family campground in East Rockhill and Haycock Townships.
Researchers believe a mill sat at its current site in the late 1790s at what became known as the village of Thatcher. In 1844, Levi Sheard purchased the property, which had an operating mill on the premises. County business records from 1871 show the mill was used as a grist mill and a sawmill.
Bucks County built the covered bridge next to the mill in 1873 to its usual specifications, which required white oak for the lattice and floor planks, white pine for the roof and siding, and stone abutments. In January 1936, the state took over Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge during its era of making road improvements, but it decided not to demolish the bridge.
At the time, the mill was known as Clymer’s Mill and it was still in operation. While the mill stopped its traditional feed mill functions in 1971, an apple cider press remained in use for another decade. Today, the mill is on the National Register of Historic Places, thanks to the efforts of the Tohickon Family Campground, which owns the building.
In 1959, the state apparently decided to demolish Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge rather than repair it. But after the South Perkasie Covered Bridge move and the Theodore Burr Covered Bridge Society’s formation, the state reversed its covered bridge demolition policy and the bridge was spared.
Sheard's Mill Covered Bridge received a major overhaul since then, including a full rehabilitation in 1984 and the addition of fireproofing in 2007. It remains in full road service today.