Neely's Mill (Removed 1935)


Neely's Mill Bridge was lost after a failed effort to preserve it in the 1930s.

The original bridge’s construction date is unknown, but it sat in one of the most scenic locations in Bucks County on River Road near the site of George Washington’s 1775 encampment. When examined in 1919 by the county, engineer Oscar Martin noted that it ran over Pidcock Creek and had two spans, despite its short length. The bridge sat very high, more than 16 feet, above the creek.

In the 1930s, the state took over the bridge as part of its efforts to make the Washington Crossing area look “more colonial.” The state also wanted to install a “historically correct stone arch” replica bridge. There were also concerns about traffic volume on the bridge.

In response, the newly-formed Delaware Valley Protective Association objected to any plans to demolish the bridge. Instead, a compromise was reached to move the bridge to Washington Crossing Park, to be used as a walking bridge over the creek. But in April 1935, the state stopped moving the bridge after it had been transported 1,000 feet into the park. By December, it became apparent the state had no plans to move the bridge farther.

In late 1938, the Bucks County Federation of Women’s Clubs noted that not much remained of Neely's Mill Bridge. “Here we have the best known of all county bridges. This is due to the fact of its location near a historic spot that through the ages has become famous. … An attempt was made to preserve the bridge when removed in 1935, but now we find only the skeleton of the structure standing in a nearby field. It is entirely doomed.”