Save Our Jackson County Covered Bridges
is an organization established by the Jackson County Parks & Recreation Department and the Jackson County Visitors & Convention Bureau to raise funds to restore and protect the three unique covered bridges still standing in Jackson County, Indiana. Other organizations involved in this project are the Jackson County Historical Society and the Seymour Heritage Foundation.
Why Save The Old Covered Bridges?
”Few icons of the American landscape take us back in time to a quieter period in our history than does the covered bridge with its enduring strength and simplicity, in harmony with the countryside it continues to serve. Wooden covered bridges are among the United States’ most treasured engineering landmarks. They are romantic symbols of the past and a link with our engineering forefathers…and they revive memories from our heritage, a heritage that will never be replaced once it is gone.”
But Why Covered?
The roof and weatherboarding was not for the protection of travelers, or their horses, the loads of hay, or the sweethearts strolling in the fragrant shadows. Nor was it to protect the plank roadway of the bridges, they were readily replaceable. Covering was not to keep the snow off. Roofs were put on the covered bridges to keep the main structural timbers dry. Staunch as they appeared, they would quickly rot if left exposed to be alternately wet by rains and dampness and then scorched by the sun.
Jackson County’s Covered Bridges
The Bell’s Ford Covered Bridge
The by-passed Bell’s Ford Bridge in Jackson County, Indiana, has a unique truss, the only one of its kind in the world. The Post Truss construction, combining wood and iron, was patented in 1863 by Simeon S. Post. The framing has no verticals and the main diagonals are wood. The bracing and counterbracing consists of a web system of iron rods, an idea formulated by the inventor, who was a chief engineer of the Ohio & Mississippi Railroad (later the B&O) and who was familiar with the region. Few bridges of this type were ever built, and only this example was covered. Built in 1869, this bridge is believed to be the only Post-Truss covered bridge in the world. The bridge was constructed by Robert Patterson for the Seymour Bridge Company. The bridge is located along St. Rd. 258 between Cortland and Seymour, Indiana. It spans the East Fork of White River.
The Medora Covered Bridge
Built in 1875 and by-passed in 1972, the Medora Covered Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the United States, measuring 458 feet long including 12’ overhangs. This bridge is located on St. Rd. 235. It spans the East Fork of White River.
The Shieldstown Covered Bridge
Built by J. J. Daniels in 1876 with the Burr Truss system, the Shieldstown Bridge is considered the most scenic in Jackson County. The bridge, measuring 355 feet, carried vehicular traffic until it was closed in 1980. This bridge is located about one mile north of Crane Hill, which is on U.S. 50 about five miles west of Seymour, Indiana. It also spans the East Fork of White River.
Listed below are the Covered Bridges Jackson County has LOST!
Crothersville Bridge (1869-?)
Ewing Bridge (1870-1970)
Houston Bridge (?)
Millport Bridge (?)
Newry Bridge (?)
I Want To Help!
If you would like to contribute to Save Our Jackson County Covered Bridges, Please print and send these contribution forms:
Individual Contribution Form
Business Contribution Form
For additional Information On Jackson County's Covered Bridges
Other Local Area Attractions
The Jackson County Visitor
357 Tanger Boulevard, Suite 231
Seymour, IN 47274
Seymour, Indiana Webpage
Indiana Covered Bridge Database Information
Kentucky Covered Bridge Atlas
List of Covered Bridge Links
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