Kauffman's Distillery Bridge
The Covered Bridges of Lancaster County, PA
Linking Mount Joy and Lititz
This bridge is named for a whiskey distillery operated by at least two generations of the Kauffman family, including Jacob S. Kauffman (1794-1849) and Henry M. Kauffman (1821-94). The distillery was once located at the northern end of the village of Sporting Hill, on the Rapho Township side of the bridge.
A group of "viewers" (local citizens familiar with the area) was appointed in 1855 to consider the need for a bridge at this location. The viewers reported that "a Bridge over Chiques Creek at the place where the public Highway from Sporting Hill in Rapho Township to Lititz … crosses the same is necessary." (1) That "highway," now Sun Hill Road, gave travelers a more direct route between Mount Joy and and Lititz, bypassing Manheim Borough.
After the bridge was approved, it was completed by James C. Carpenter in 1857. It was then rebuilt by Elias McMellen in 1874 at a cost of $1,620. (2) McMellen, a Civil War veteran who also served as Lancaster County Prothonotary, built and repaired many of the county's bridges over the course of his career.
(1) Lancaster County Road Docket,
(2) Lancaster County Bridge Docket, p. 221
Bridge SpecificationsOther Names: Sporting Hill, Big Chiques #3, now #1
Crosses: Chiques Creek
Length: 96 ft., 6 in. (29.41 m); 83 ft. (2.11 m), clear span
Width: Total 16 ft., 6 in. (5.03 m); deck 13 ft., 0.5 in. (3.97 m)
Builder: James C. Carpenter, rebuilt by Elias McMellen
Structure: Burr arch truss
History: Built 1857, rebuilt 1874
Erected by Lancaster County Board of Commissioners.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & Viaducts • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Covered Bridges 🌉 series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1855.
Location. 40° 8.895′ N, 76° 24.6′ W. Marker is in Rapho Township, Pennsylvania, in Lancaster County. Marker is on West Sun Hill Road 0.1 miles south of Mount Joy Road (Pennsylvania Route 772), on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 841 W Sun Hill Rd, Manheim PA 17545, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Stiegel Glass Manufactory (approx. 1.2 miles away); Heintzelman House (approx. 1.3 miles away); Manheim Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.3 miles away); Baron Stiegel (approx. 1.3 miles away); Henry William Steigel / Henry M Muhlenberg / Robert Morris (approx. 1.3 miles away); Memorial to Henry William Stiegel (approx. 1.4 miles away); Manheim Historical Society (approx. 1.4 miles away); a different marker also named Manheim Veterans Memorial (approx. 1.7 miles away).
Credits. This page was last revised on May 21, 2021. It was originally submitted on January 16, 2021, by William Pope of Marietta, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 58 times since then. Last updated on May 19, 2021, by Carl Gordon Moore Jr. of North East, Maryland. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on January 16, 2021, by William Pope of Marietta, Pennsylvania. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.