Rock Bridge – Mills Crossings

There was a time when very few bridges existed in our area and people relied on shallow creek crossings called fords and hand-operated ferry rafts or barges. Before the first bridge crossing Paint Creek at Greenfield there was a small ferry that would take people, animals, and wagons across the creek. In Fayette County there is a road named Flake’s Ford and I’m assuming it was a shallow section of Paint Creek where people could safely get to the other side.

rock bridge
New bridge at Rock Bridge. Old low-level crossing lies below.

In a recent article about tent camping I posted a photo of a low-water crossing just north of the small town of Rock Bridge in Fayette County. The photo shows the area as it exist today with a modern span connecting the two sides of Paint Creek. While digging through some older email I came across a photo sent me by Linda Limes Ellis of the Rock Bridge/Mill crossing taken sometime in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The photo comes from a post card and inscribed as being Rock Mills Near Washington C.H., Ohio.

I’m a little confused about the photo and the inscription. The crossing looks a great deal like the one I remember being at Rock Bridge but the background and buildings resemble more the Rock Mills area. There is a bridge crossing Paint Creek at Rock Mills but I think the terrain is too steep to have permitted a ford or low-level crossing. In my memory the Rock Mills Bridge was either an old iron structure or the modern span that now crosses the creek.

Rock Mills Creek Crossing
Is this the low-level crossing at Rock Bridge or was there also one at Rock Mills? 

Hopefully someone with a better knowledge of the area can shed some light on these things.

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