Jerry Turner's Covered Bridges - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Jerry Turner's Covered Bridges


(synopsis - he's working on a book) -

by Jerry Turner

There were at least ten covered/roofed bridges in Montgomery County in the 1800's and early 1900's. Eight were wagon bridges and two were railroad bridges/trestles. Today only two wagon bridges survive. The following is a brief synopsis of information uncovered in official records and published accounts of the ten bridges.

Wagon Covered Bridges

Darlington Covered Bridge
Bridge Built: 1867-68
Cost: approximately $9,424.40 (1867-1868)
Location: One mile west of Darlington
Creek crossed: Sugar Creek
Bridge Superintendent: Richard Epperson
Contract for abutments and approaches: Joseph Kress
Contract for superstructure: George Post, esq., (Smith Bridge Company subcontracted for trusses)
Truss: Howe Truss (Originally single span, center pier added several years after completion)
Length: Total length of bridge at road level is 169 feet, approximate length of roof is 178 feet.
Clear span (between abutments) was 159 feet.
Replaced/Torn down: Bypassed in June 22, 1976 with construction of modern bridge. Still standing and open for pedestrians. National Historical Site.
Notes: Residents of Sugar Creek and Franklin townships pledged $1,535 to help pay for the bridge but only $ 1,282 was actually received.


Deer's Mill Covered

Bridge Built: 1878
Cost: Contracted for $9,000
Location: State Road 234, northwest of Freedom Church and north of Waveland
Creek crossed: Sugar Creek
Bridge Superintendent: William Canine
Contract for Abutments and Bridge: Joseph J. Daniels
Truss: 2 span Burr Arch Truss (one central pier)
Length: Total Length: 318 feet, 275 foot span
Replaced/Torn down: Bypassed in October 28, 1968 with construction of modern bridge. Still standing and open to pedestrians.
Notes: Also known as the Pine Hills or Bluff Mills Covered Bridge. Named Deer's Mill Covered Bridge for the Deer's grist mill which was located a few yards to the west when the bridge was built. Pine Hills Nature Preserve and Shades State Park located near the bridge.


Meharry Covered Bridge
Bridge Built: 1885-86
Cost: Approximately $3,200
Location: State Road 25, 2 miles north of Wingate
Creek crossed: North Fork of Coal Creek
Contract for Abutments and approaches: Thomas Slattery
Contract for Superstructure: Smith Bridge Company
Supervising Foreman: Smith agent M. L. Barnes
Truss: Howe Truss
Length: 84 foot span, 94 foot total length
Replaced/Torn down: 1936, replaced with modern bridge
Notes: Also known as the Wingate Covered Bridge.
The Meharry Grove Campground located on the southwest corner, hence the name.


Yountsville Covered Bridge
Bridge Built: 1858
Cost: approximately $7,650
Location: Just east of Yountsville and north of the current SR 32 bridge. Creek crossed: Sugar Creek
Superintendent of Bridge: Abigail O'Neal, Ripley Township Trustee
Builder: Charles B. Naylor
Truss: Single Span Burr Arch Truss
Length: 160 foot span, Total Length was 180 feet
Replaced/Torn down: 1948 bypassed and replaced with modern bridge. Notes: In 1877 extensive repairs resulted in the bridge being closed for several months. J. J. Daniels did the repair work for $6,228.42. Remnants of western abutment can still be seen.


Sperry Mill Covered Bridge
Bridge Built: 1839-40 Cost: Unknown, Funded by the State Internal Improvements Act of 1838 and cost at least $1,000
Location: North of Crawfordsville on old Lafayette Road and east of current bridge
Creek crossed: Sugar Creek
Superintendent of bridge: Chilion Johnson
Truss: Single Span Burr Arch
Truss Length: 190 feet
Replaced/Torn down: 1928 bypassed and replaced by modern bridge
Notes: The bridge was built when Col. Elston owned the grist mill located to the northeast. When Henry Sperry bought the mill in 1848 the bridge became known as the Sperry Mill Bridge.


Harshbarger Covered Bridge
Bridge Built: 1900
Cost: Split between Montgomery and Putnam Counties proportionate to the taxable property in both counties.
Total cost: $3,071. Montgomery County: $1,471.50 --
Superstructure, $941.76 Abutments Putnam County: $1,028 Superstructure, $658.24 Abutments Location: Just Southeast of the intersection of CR240E and CR1200S, two miles east of Parkersburg
Creek crossed: Big Raccoon Creek
Builder: Joseph J. Daniels
Truss: Single Span Howe Truss (Crude Burr Arch added years later to reinforce bridge)
Length: 152 feet with 9 foot portals
Replaced/Torn down: 1967 torn down and replaced with wet ford.
Notes: Putnam and Montgomery Counties combined to build this bridge since the bridge was on the county line.


White Covered Bridge
Built: 1882
Cost: $5, 100
Location : One mile east of Ladoga on State Road 234
Creek crossed: Big Raccoon Creek
Builders: Joseph J. Daniels
Truss: single span Burr Arch
Truss Length: 120 feet 9 inch span, total length was 150 feet 9 inches Replaced/Torn down: Torn down in 1941 and replaced with modern bridge. Notes: Also known as the Ladoga Bridge. Called the White Covered Bridge because it was painted white.


Snyder Mill Covered Bridge
Built: 1800's, exact year unknown
Cost: Unknown
Location: Northeast corner of Yountsville on an extinct portion of the Old Perrysville Road.
Creek crossed: Spring Creek
Builders: Unknown
Truss: Unknown
Length: Unknown
Replaced/Torn down: September 1905
Notes: Small red covered bridge was located near the Snyder Mill in Yountsville and was the only way wagons could get across Spring Creek to deliver wool to the Yount's Woolen Mill on Sugar Creek.

Railroad Covered Bridges/Trestles

Monon Railroad Bridge
Built: 1852
Cost: unknown
Location: Henry James Hollow north of Crawfordsville
Creek crossed: Sugar Creek
Supervisor and builder: Chilion Johnson
Truss: Unknown, reported to be a roofed trestle bridge.
Length: 300 feet Replaced/Torn down: Burned down on April 26, 1856. A new bridge was built to replace it
Notes: Built by the Crawfordsville & Wabash railroad (Monon). A steel girder bridge was installed in 1892. At one time called the red bridge.


Big Four Railroad Bridge
Built:1868-1870, roofed in August of 1884
Cost: unknown
Location: Sugar Creek Trail Bridge, Northeast of the Country Club
Creek crossed: Sugar Creek
Builders: Indianapolis, Bloomington and Western Railroad (Big Four)
Truss: unknown Length: unknown
Replaced/Torn down: Steel girder bridge built in 1920's.
Notes: When the Big Four railroad was abandoned the line from Sugar Creek to Crawfordsville was converted into the Sugar Creek Trail.

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