Side A: One of the few remaining covered bridges in southwestern Ohio and the only one in Butler County on its original site, this bridge was built in 1868-1869 to give access to a saw and grist mill owned by James B. Pugh on Four Mile (Tallawanda) Creek. The wooden frame three-story mill had a 16-foot overshot water wheel to power it. Pugh’s Mill ceased operation after two decades. The name of the span gradually changed to Black Bridge, likely because there was a white covered bridge downstream near present State Route 73. The Oxford Museum Association assumed stewardship of the Black Bridge in 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial celebration. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, it was restored and rededicated in 2000.
Side B: One of the longest and most impressive of Ohio’s covered bridges, the Black (Pugh’s Mill) Bridge was built in 1868-1869 by master builders Bandin, Butin, and Bowman. It is unique for its combination of two truss types “Childs and Long” within a single structure. Originally a cambered (arched) single span of 209 feet with a roadway width of 18 feet, it was modified in 1869 with the inclusion of a central pier under it for additional support. The trusses were then remodeled by replacing some of the wooden diagonals with iron rods to enable the builders to lower the bridge down onto the pier by backing off the nuts on the ends of the rods, thus eliminating the camber and forming two spans instead of one.
Sponsors: Ohio Bicentennial Commission, The Longaberger Company, the Oxford Museum Association, and The Ohio Historical Society