Covered Bridges

5/8/13 Wednesday at Clinton, IN (Horseshoe Lakes Campground-TT)

After our morning jobs, we left to explore Parke County (Indiana) Covered Bridges. They consider themselves the covered bridge capital of the world. More than 10,000 were built in the US by 1885; more than 90% are now gone. 31 are here, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To find them, you can get a map in Rockville (where the Thirty Six Saloon is). We were told to go to Bridgeton to see covered bridges.

IMG_9167 IMG_9171

On our way we saw this bridge at the Ernie Pyle Rest area. Dana, IN, Ernie Pyle’s home, is 2.5 miles West of this point. He was a famous WWII correspondent.

All the covered bridges have the same word pattern on their ends: year built, builder, “Cross This Bridge At A Walk”, even those we can drive through.


Cool, interior.  They all have that curved wood on the sides.




IMG_9172 Neet Bridge

Later, while driving on Bridgeton road, we saw Neet bridge, which even had windows. We met another couple there also taking bridge photos.




IMG_9183 IMG_9184

As we entered Bridgeton, we saw Bridgeton Bridge, the longest one yet, over a small falls (dam) next to a Mill. When the other couple stopped there too I asked if they knew where we could get maps for the bridges. They said they are available at the Mill, along with the best pumpkin ice cream. This bridge is considered the most picturesque, maybe the most photographed in the entire Midwest. The original (1868) was set on fire, but a replacement was built in 2006.  We also found out that, to have the dam, they had to block  several creeks, because it’s so flat here.






The Mill has been in continuous operation over 100 years (from 1869 until now), it’s considered the oldest continuously operating bridge west of the Allegheny Mountains. The first grist mill was built in 1821, enlarged to Lockwood Mill in 1823, then burnt. Rebuilt in 1869.  The current owner bought it in 1995 and has done a great deal to bring the Mill and dam up to snuff, while preserving their historical status. He sells wonderful whole grains too, so I bought some, including a pumpkin muffin mix. Bridgeton holds a Parke County Covered Bridge Festival starting every 2nd Friday in October. We ate our lunch on their picnic tables, right by the water, then John got ice cream. Best of all, the owner gave us a Covered Bridges Map! So we started collecting them in photos:


Thorpe Ford Bridge, built over Big Racoon Creek in 1912.





IMG_9198 Roseville Bridge IMG_9202

Roseville Bridge, built over the same creek in 1910. We could drive through this one.











Harry Evans Bridge (drive through)






IMG_9215 Mecca Bridge






IMG_9218 Phillips Bridge IMG_9220

Phillips Bridge






Sim Smith Bridge

Since we were out and about, we went to North Terre Haute for groceries, then home. Finally, a gorgeous sunny day, which is why we planned to check out the bridges today.


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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One Response to Covered Bridges

  1. Sherry says:

    Trish and John, we were at Little Diamond over the weekend and started to wonder how your adventure was going. I googled you and found your blog and have been reading bits of it but have a long way to go to get the whole story:) I was thrilled to see a post titled ‘Covered Bridges’ as they are a favourite of mine. I hope that you are both healthy and happy and I will be sure to keep up to date on the blog.
    Sherry and Bob (from Little Diamond and Castlegar, B.C., Canada

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