For another year running, the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau has presented the winner of the Covered Bridge Photo Contest with a speciality-made puzzle picturing the bridge.
This year's winner is Parr’s Mill Covered Bridge in Columbia County. The puzzle will be released in the fall as the twelfth installment in the Visitors Bureau’s limited edition series.
Ben Prepelka took the winning snapshot of the Parr’s Mill Bridge. Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Ben quickly discovered that his parents were passionate about travel, photography, painting and wildlife.
As the youngest member of his family, Ben grew up exploring much of the state at a very early age. His photography focuses on that part of his youth, echoing the passion his parents had for the great outdoors. Now a Florida resident, Ben tries to make it back to Pennsylvania as often as he can.
Several other photographers were recognized in this year’s contest with an honorable mention designation: Mark Koskulitz (photo featuring Jud Christian Covered Bridge), Anthony Berard Jr. (Johnson Covered Bridge), Tony Bendele (Esther Furnace Covered Bridge), Cathy Kuczynski (Hollingshead Covered Bridge), and Bonnie Tharp (Richards Covered Bridge).
Spanning the north branch of Roaring Creek, the Parr’s Mill Covered Bridge connects Franklin and Cleveland Townships in Columbia County. The Burr Truss arch span was built in 1865 by F.L. Shuman at a cost of $1,275.
It is located four miles south of Catawissa on Parr's Mill Road, off Ashton Hollow Road, east of Pennsylvania Route 487. Named after Washington Parr, who purchased the nearby Willow Grove Grist Mill in 1875, the bridge and mill became known as Parr’s Mill Bridge and Parr’s Mill, respectively.
The Visitors Bureau is now taking pre-orders for the 2022 Parr’s Mill Covered Bridge puzzles; cost is $15, tax included. Puzzles are 550 pieces and supplies are limited.
Individuals interested in pre-ordering a puzzle may visit the Bureau's website to fill out the order form with a name, contact info, and number of puzzles requested.
No payment will be taken at the time of pre-order. When the finished puzzles arrive (likely in September), those on the pre-order list will be contacted directly to arrange pickup or shipping plans. Afterward, any puzzles not reserved for pre-orders will be made available to the general public to purchase at the Visitors Bureau Welcome Center.
A donation of $2 from every puzzle sold will be made by the Bureau to the Columbia County Covered Bridge Association to go toward restoration and preservation of local covered bridge treasures.
The Columbia County Covered Bridge Association restores, preserves, and advocates for the covered bridges of Columbia County for historical and recreational purposes.
Their purpose is simple: they recognize the historic importance of the covered bridges as a public treasure to be available to, and be enjoyed by, the public. This non-profit association protects the area’s covered bridges not only for today, but also for future generations.