LEBANON AND FRANKLIN COUNTIES, Pa., and HALE COUNTY, Ala. (WHTM) — Bill Kyser knew his great-grandfather, William Nelson, was a bridge erector — the Nelson & Buchanan Company was famous in its day, which was, oh, 50,000 or so days ago.

Nelson was based in Chambersburg, Pa. Kyser and his family live in Greensboro, Ala. But a few years ago, he and his family were on a trip to Pennsylvania.

“And we started looking at bridges that Great-Granddaddy had built,” Kyser recalled. “And we started talking about, ‘Well, we ought to move one to Alabama.’ And after about the third six-pack they had me convinced that I’d be the one who did it.”

By the time he sobered up, it was too late. He had made the commitment and was going to stick by his word.

The one part of this story that’s actually not unusual is the idea of buying an old Pennsylvania bridge and hauling it off. Years ago, the state decided it was a shame to scrap old bridges, which were often architectural treasures but obsolete for carrying, say, 18-wheelers rather than the horses and buggies they were built to hold. So the state began marketing old bridges.

Often, they get restored and hauled somewhere nearby, like the Inwood Iron Truss Bridge, which used to carry traffic across the Swatara Creek and now adorns a nearby park down the road from the bridge that replaced it. Jeremy Ammerman, the architectural historian for PennDOT District 8, pointed out the unique architectural features that would have been lost to history had the bridge not been preserved. Local governments and philanthropists helped fund that purchase, restoration, and relocation.

But sure enough, Kyser used his farm equipment to haul great-granddaddy’s bridge the 1,000 miles, he said, down to his farm. It now adorns the farm’s entrance.

Kyser figures there are worse vices than his.

“I don’t turkey hunt. I don’t play golf. I don’t fish in the big water anymore,” Kyser said. “So we all need a bad habit or two of some kind. So we went and rescued a bridge.”