Side A: Bigelow Bridge, Ax Handle Rd. Constructed in 1873, the Bigelow Bridge spans approximately 100 feet across Little Darby Creek. Reuben Partridge built the superstructure at a cost of $12.50 per linear foot ($1,500). Bercupile & Snell built the masonry foundation at a cost of $7.00 per perch (a perch is approximately 25 cubic feet). Partridge built bridges throughout Union County and the surrounding area from 1866 until his death in 1900. The covered bridge is named for Eliphas Bigelow, an early resident of Union County, who built the nearby Bigelow House on the south side of Post Road (SR 161) in 1846. Union County Engineer employees rehabilitated the bridge from 1989 to 1991 by installing a new support system. The Partridge trusses currently carry only the weight of the original bridge. The rehabilitation project received the 1992 Engineered Timber Bridge Award from the National Forest Products Association. Side B: The Darby Plains. As you read this marker, you are looking south across the Darby Plains. The plains are noted for their level surface and deep, rich soils. The area used to consist largely of prairie with scattered groves of oak, hickory and plum trees. Native wildflowers and tall grasses, some reaching enormous heights, grew in abundance. In the early 1800s, members of the New Light Christian Church moved from New England to start a colony on the Darby Plains. Settlers raised livestock here since the prairie was excellent for grazing. Because the prairie became very wet at certain times of the year, in the mid-1800s farmers began ditching, tiling and draining the prairie. With the help of artificial drainage, the plains became excellent for growing grain. Some of the best agricultural land in Ohio is found in the Darby Plains.