(BEDFORD) – Monday evening Jeremy Broshears presented interesting facts and information about Monroe County’s Covered Bridges and touched on a few in Northern Lawrence County’s covered bridges.
Monroe County had approximately thirteen covered bridges and Lawrence County had approximately six covered bridges according to information obtained by Broshears.
The covered bridges were used to cross 3 major creeks; Beam Blossom, Salt Creek, and Clear Creek and the White River near Gosport.
Indiana ranked 3rd among states for covered bridges. Since 1976, Monroe County did not have a covered bridge until 2019 when the Cedar Ford Bridge was resurrected. The Cedar Ford Covered bridge is currently the 90th authentic covered bridge in America. There are about 1,600 covered bridges world-wide.
In total, more than 12,000 covered bridges have been built in the United States, about 3,500 of them was in the State of Ohio. About 1,500 covered bridges were built between 1820 and 1900, and most were built from 1825-1875. In 1980, it was reported as having 130 extant covered bridges, with the highest amount of covered bridges located in Parke County Indiana.
“The former Mcmillian Bridge was a covered bridge near the area fell decades ago due to an arson fire during,” Broshears noted during his presentation. He brought a replica of that bridge during his presentation Monday night.
Some of the covered bridges that were covered during the presentation used to cross Salt Creek and Clear Creek where Lake Monroe is now. Some of those bridges included the Nancy Jane bridge, Cutright, Judah Bridge, Goodman, and Harrodsburg bridges just to name a few.
He also talked about the covered bridges in the northern part of Monroe County which included Mcmillian, Mt. Tabor, Johnson, and Dolan covered bridges.
The bridges Broshears covered in Lawrence County included the railroad covered bridge that spanned Salt Creek near Dark Hollow quarry, Owensburg-Armstrong Station Road bridge that was located near Springville, Stumphole Bridge, and Tunnelton Covered Bridge.
“Covered bridges were used for dances, and get-togethers, where residents would have dinners and bring musical instruments. At times, livestock such as pigs, cows, and chickens could be found inside the structure. Of course, traffic was not as busy back in those days as few cars passed by during the day.” Broshears noted.
Borshears noted some of the ways the bridges were constructed using the Burr Arch, Howe Truss, bridges the most common type of covered bridge construction was the Burr Truss.
Borshears just recently completed his book “ The Covered Bridges of Monroe County” which is available to purchase to be able to learn about yesterday’s covered bridges.
During Monday evening’s presentation, he also brought a Model T light, an eight-day lantern, and a buggy lantern to give attendees a feel for how things were during the time period.
Each month the Lawrence County Historical & Genealogic Society will have a speaker attend following each their monthly meeting held on Monday the second Monday of the Month at 7:00 p.m.
On February 10th, Lizzie Grennan Browning, Adjunct Assistant Professor of History, will be presenting “ Lawrence County Environmental History”.