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The Marysville Bridge on Seneca Creek is silent reminder of the past, but the future of this 60 foot long covered bridge is in question. It is off the beaten path on Route 705 in Campbell County and is far down the list of highway priorities in the county. The preservation of the bridge seems to be of little interest, but it has great value as a remnant if Virginia's history. Only seven of the "nearly 100" covered bridges in Virginia's history remain, and the Marysville Bridge is the second oldest still standing.
Legend has it that the bridge was built in 1878, following the flood of 1877 that wiped out all of Campbell County bridges. Edith C. Poindexter has researched all records of the building of the bridge and says "if one was built at a time it was gone before 1900". Records in the Campbell County Order Books do not record any bridge built at Seneca Creek on the road leading from Gladys to Marysville until November 1901 when W.T. Oakes and other petitioned the Board of Supervisors to build a bridge over Seneca Creek on the road leading from Gladys to Marysville. The bridge was completed by C.B. Wills, the contractor, in February 1903 at the cost of $1407.00. Mr. Wills was a local man whose children and grandchildren grew up in Marysville. According to Mrs. Poindexter "Robert Cox of Marysville hewed the sleepers for the bridge floor from trees on the John Hurt farm." The original sleepers and the rock pilings are still part of the remains of the original bridge.
The land on which the bridge was built was originally land which belonged to Philip Payne of Airy Mount. It was then owned by John W. Clay who married Payne's granddaughter.
During the 1930's the State of Virginia assumed responsibility of the bridge and it was in use until the new bridge was built 75 feet upstream in 1952. The Board of Supervisors appropriated money to restore the main span and the catwalk in 1962. The zebra pattern on the portal was painted to define the clearance according to Richard Sanders Allen, an authority on covered bridges. The span in achieved by an unusual variation of the latticework truss of circular sawn timbers. The cladding is of a circular sawn vertical planking and the roofing is a sheet metal.
in 1980 Craig Millner, an Eagle Scout, was responsible for cleaning the area, planting opine trees and trying to create a roadside park. Vandals have continued to damage it and it is in need of repair. The problem is; its location. Few people ever see it, but it should be saved. It needs repairs, painting, its roof fixed and graffiti removed. One suggestion has been to move it to a more accessible spot where its preservation would be assured. One was or another.. it needs to be saved.