Wednesday, April 18, 2012



    Covered bridges are fascinating whether they are rumored to be haunted or not. America's first covered bridge was built in 1804. Pennsylvania boasted 1500 covered bridges at its peak, today, Pennsylvania has 200 covered bridges, still the highest number in the states. In the swift evolving and ever-changing technological age we live in, covered bridges represent a simpler time and are very often revered as relics of the past by preservationists.
    It's no wonder tales of haunting abound in legends surrounding covered bridges. Bridges are themselves, tools for crossing from one side to another. A covered bridge so easily harbors secrets within its walls, plus given that most if not all were built centuries ago, only lends to an air of nostalgia and probable ghostly activity.

Stowe Hollow Bridge

Stow Bridge ghost pictures

    Stowe Hollow Bridge in Vermont, also known as "Emily's Bridge" or "Gold Brook Bridge," , was built in 1844. The locals call it Emily's Bridge because it is Emily, they believe, who haunt it. In 1849, Emily wanted to marry a man her family did not approve of. Though forbidden to marry, the couple decided to elope and met one night, on Stowe Hollow Bridge.
    Emily waited for hours for her lover to join her. Broken-hearted, Emily hung herself from one of the rafters. Now, her angry, desperate ghost haunts the bridge, waiting for her fiance' to return to her. But many locals refuse to cross this bridge at night, because they believe it is Emily who shakes their cars, and sometimes, may even slash visitors with invisible claws. Tales of horses, people and cars being slashed by these invisible claws have run rampant for 150 years. Others have heard a woman weeping. Emily, perhaps?

Sach's Covered Bridge

Sach's Ghost

    Sach's Covered Bridge in Adam's County, Pennsylvania, was built in 1854 and supposedly haunted by three Condederate soldiers. They deserted their posts and when captured, were hung from the rafters inside the Sach's Bridge. Folks who have taken pictures of the inside of this covered bridge get strange orbs on the film. When inside the covered bridge, many people report feeling cold spots.

Concord Bridge side view

The Concord Covered Bridge

    The Concord Covered Bridge in Smyrna, Georgia, is one of just 12 covered bridges in the state of Georgia. It is a one-lane bridge, built in 1872. It is about 132 feet long and only 16 feet wide. Supposedly, if you park on the bridge, turn off your lights, and place a Snicker's bar on the roof, you will hear ghostly pattering and then the Snicker's bar will be gone. The ghostly pattering is of children who drowned in the creek below. It is recommended due to a decent amount of traffic on this road, that you don't try this. Still, the legend is interesting as I've never before heard of the dead enjoying Snicker's bars!

Ghostly Orbs

The Van Sant Covered Bridge

    The Van Sant Covered Bridge in New Hope, Pennsylvania, was built in 1875 and spans Pidcock Creek. Some people believe a woman haunts this bridge, others, a highwayman who was murdered here. The woman, supposedly, threw herself and her baby off of the bridge and drowned in Pidcock Creek. Regardless of its ghostly inhabitants, an overwhelming sense of sadness permeates this covered bridge, a stark contrast to the beauty that surrounds it.

Jericho Covered Bridge

Jericho Bridge in the early days

    Jericho Covered Bridge in Joppa, Maryland, was built in the early 1800's. During the civil War, several lynchings were reported to have occurred on this bridge. If you drive your car onto this bridge late at night and look in your rear view mirror, you are supposed to be able to see the image of a dead person swinging from the rafters.

    Glasgow, Kentucky. A covered bridge exists here where, legend says, is haunted by sounds of an axe hitting a chopping block. What's being chopped? A head, of course. In the 1800's, a slave kidnapped the daughter of his wealthy master and took her back to the covered bridge. He cut off her head with an axe. People say if you drive onto the bridge and roll down the car windows, you can hear the sound of the axe hitting the chopping block.

The Colville Road Covered Bridge

    The Colville Road Covered Bridge in Paris, Kentucky, is haunted by a girl killed in a car wreck with her boyfriend. Returning from the prom, they prepared to stop at the bridge and instead careened into the water below. If you sit in your car in the middle of the bridge, headlights might come up behind you, but when you look you see the car has fallen into the water.


   This delicious dessert gets a double dose of maple flavor: one in the cake, another in the cream cheese-maple frosting. Keep in mind that maple syrup affects the baking time of this cake (it takes almost an hour to bake).

Maple Cake with Maple Syrup Frosting



  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons non-hydrogenated solid vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 2 cups pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped


  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
  • Toasted walnut halves (for garnish)

special equipment

  • Two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides



  • Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 325°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; butter parchment. Dust pans with flour; tap out excess. Sift 3 cups flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and shortening in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and beat until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolks and egg 1 at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in flour mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions. Fold in walnuts. Divide batter equally between prepared pans (about 3 1/2 cups for each); smooth tops.
  • Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 55 minutes. Cool cakes in pans on racks 20 minutes. Run small knife around sides of cakes to loosen. Invert cakes onto racks; remove parchment. Cool cakes completely.


  • Sift powdered sugar into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar and maple syrup and beat just until smooth (do not overbeat or frosting may become too soft).
  • Using serrated knife, trim off domed top of each cake layer, creating flat surface. Place 1 cake layer, trimmed side up, on platter. Spoon 1 cup frosting in dollops over top of cake layer; spread evenly to edges. Top with second cake layer, trimmed side down. Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Arrange walnut halves around top edge of cake. DO AHEAD Can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover with cake dome and chill. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  • Cut cake into wedges and serve.


40 Years of Guts & Glory

    The Angola Rodeo, the longest running prison rodeo in the nation, got its start in 1965. The first arena was small, built by a handful of dedicated inmates and personnel. It wasn't much in those days, and the rodeo was stages just for the entertainment of prisoners and employees. But it was fun.
    The 1967 rodeo was opened to the general public on a limited basis. There were no stands. Spectators had to sit on apple crates and the hoods of their cars to watch the performance.

    The success on the 1967 and 1968 rodeos prompted constructions of a 4,500 seat arena for the 1969 rodeo. A near disaster occurred when the bleachers collapsed during one of the shows. Spectators weren't alarmed, most didn't even get up. They sat on the collapsed structure and continued to watch. The 1971 rodeo was the wettest in history, but the show went on.
    As years passed, the rodeo grew in size, adding events and sponsorships. The official Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rules were adopted in 1972 and the rodeo became a permanent fixture.

    The Angola Prison Rodeo is a professionally produced rodeo. Angola contracts with professional rodeo stock contractors to provide the rodeo stock used in events; professional judges are contracted with to objectively judge each event. In addition, to ensure inmate participant safety, professional rodeo clowns are always present in the arena during events. A full complement of emergency services personnel are on site to provide medical assistance to inmate and spectators.

    In 1997, spectator capacity was expanded by 1000 seats and construction of a roof over the seating area began to provide increased comfort for spectators under Louisiana's blazing sun. Hobbycraft space was also expanded to the point where it is no longer just a little concession area on the side for some inmate organizations to make a few bucks. It is now an all day, full blown arts and crafts festival, complete with entertainment and food galore. The arts and crafts festival begins at 9 a.m. and continues throughout the rodeo which begins at 2 p.m. each Sunday in October. Many fans come to the rodeo for the arts and crafts show alone.

    Ticket, concession, and craft sales for the next two years broke all records, prompting the administration to build another arena. Construction began on the new stadium in April 2000 and increased capacity to 7,500. The new stadium was completed for the first rodeo in 2000.
    What began 40 years ago as a "fun" thing by a handful of rodeo loving inmates and employees is now big business. Proceeds from the Angola Prison Rodeo cover rodeo expenses and supplement the Louisiana State Penitentiary Inmate Welfare Fund which provides for inmate educational and recreational supplies.

Angola Prison Rodeo Charter

    There is widespread recognition today about the Angola Prison Rodeo which was formally established in 1964.
    To clearly define goals and objectives of the Angola Prison Rodeo, the 2003 Angola Prison Rodeo Committee created a Charter, and amended it in March 2006. This Charter demonstrates the Angola Prison Rodeo Committee's commitment to stewardship of any proceeds derived from the productions of the Angola Prison Rodeo.
It is assumed that the rodeo was initially established to provide a source of recreation for the inmate populations as well as to provide a source of entertainment for employees of the Louisiana State Penitentiary and the immediate surrounding community. Eventually, the Angola Prison was expanded to include spectators from the general public.

    Recognizing the potential for the growth of this unique event, since the 1995 rodeo season the Angola Prison Rodeo Committee has strived to provide a professional rodeo production which would prove beneficial to the internal inmate economy, but would also be beneficial to the Parish of West Feliciana tourism industry. Soliciting help and cooperation form the inmate populations provided an important mechanism to protect and improve the quality of the Angola Prison Rodeo, both economically and environmentally.
    The objective of the Angola Prison Rodeo remains to provide the prison population at Louisiana State Penitentiary with an opportunity for positive behavior changes.


  1. Grand Entry-Angola Rough Riders enter the arena at full gallop and colors are presented.
  2. Bust out-All six chutes open simultaneously, releasing 6 angry bulls, with temporarily attached inmate cowboys. The last man to remain on the bull wins the event.
  3. Bareback Riding-Riders are expected to keep one hand in the air, and must stay on the horse for 8 seconds to qualify.
  4. Wild Horse Race-Six wild horses are simultaneously released into the arena with short ropes dragging behind them. Three-man teams attempt to grab the ropes and hold the horse long enough for a team member to mount. The first team to cross the finish line while still on top of the horse is the winner.
  5. Barrel Racing-This is the only event in which inmates do not participate. It is a tour stop for The Girl's Rodeo Association.
  6. Bull-Dogging-The animal is placed in a chute, with two cowboys positioned just outside the chute. Their job is to wrestle the animal to the ground as quickly as possible.
  7. Buddy Pick-Up-This event requires one man on a horse (riding bareback) to navigate the length of the arena, pick up another inmate who is standing on a barrel, and race back to the finish line.
  8. Wild Cow Milking-Teams of inmate cowboys chase the animals around the arena trying to extract a little milk. The first team to bring milk to the judge win the prize.
  9. Bull Riding-This dangerous and wide open event is what the fans come to see. Inexperienced inmate sit on top of a 2,000 pound Brahma bull. To be eligible for the coveted "All-Around Cowboy" title, a contestant must successfully complete the ride (6 seconds). The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's rules govern this event.
  10. Convict Poker-Four inmate cowboys sit at a table in the middle of the arena playing a friendly game of poker. Suddenly, a wild bull is released with the sole purpose of unseating the poker players. The last man remaining seated is the winner.
  11. Guts & Glory-A chit (poker chip) is tied to the meanest, toughest Brahma bull available. The object is to get close enough to the bull in order to snatch the chit. This is the last event of the day, and perhaps the most exciting.