According to Shelby County Indiana history, following is part of the backstory of Jollity United Methodist Church: “Back in the gray and misty dawn of the history of Jackson Township, Shelby County, there came two men who settled in what is now known as the Jollity Neighborhood. These men, William Shipp and Burgess Waggoner, brought their families from Kentucky and settled near the Brockman Cemetery.”
The first church was a wooden frame building about a mile from the existing church. The cost of this was around $300.00. It was replaced in 1871 with a new brick church edifice on a new corner of land. The church is on the Shelby/Johnson County line, closer to Franklin than to Shelbyville.
Church Marquee with Holy statue in background
Memorial Flowering Dogwood, planted in April, 1989
Unfortunately a tornado hit the church in 1877. It was repaired, and over the years renovations and building additions were constructed, one with several small Sunday School rooms, a fellowship hall and a kitchen.
Mr. Reasner must have loved horses
Research has determined that the name of the church, Jollity, is most likely named after Frederick Jollity, the man who originally surveyed Johnson County between 1820 and 1830. The church started as a small group of neighbors who came to Indiana in the 1820’s. The National Methodist website lists the current congregation as 18 members, probably close to the original size of the group.
The Bean Blossom covered bridge is located near the village of Bean Blossom on Covered Bridge Road and it spans, you guessed it, Bean Blossom Creek. This is one of the favorite photo op sites in Brown County, Indiana.
Approaching the bridge
This bridge was constructed in 1880 by a Capt. Joseph Balsey for the sum of $1200. The covered bridge design is that of a Howe-single through truss. The supported approach deck is unique due to the topography as the road approaches the stream bank.
Too bad about the graffiti
Supports for the approach
Overlooking Bean Blossom Creek
Detail of the deck lumber
Interesting story here?
We had to chuckle a bit when we noticed the graffiti just inside of the bridge. Seems that Molly likes to bring her boyfriends here. Have to wonder, was Molly dating Roman and Steve at the same time?
In 1858 bridge builder Henry Wolf constructed a double barrel Burr arch truss covered bridge over Ramp Creek on what would become Highway 231 in Putnam County, west of Indianapolis. Time marched on, and in 1932 a new two lane pony truss bridge bypassed Wolf’s covered two lane bridge, which was set to be torn down. Richard Lieber, commonly known as the “Father of Indiana’s State Park system”, ordered it relocated to Indiana’s first state park in Brown County.
Bridge now spans North Fork of Salt Creek
1932 photo of new bridge, left, and old one, right. Photo courtesy Bridge Hunter
Lane two is visible to the left
Clear view of the Burr-arch truss system
This road is the North Entrance to Brown County State Park, just south of Nashville, Indiana. This was the first Indiana State Park, and it is known for its gorgeous fall colors, large camping sites, horse and hiking trails and the rustic Abe Martin Lodge. Each fall the park and nearby Nashville become an absolute beehive of activity for thousands of folks enjoying Indiana nature at its best. There is another entrance that accommodates RV motorhomes and vehicles towing trailers as the bridge has 9 feet clearance and a 3 ton weight limit.
While following our map/directions app on the way to another historic bridge we were pleasantly surprised when we came up to another old iron bridge. This one has a lower profile, with no superstructure overhead. Typical of lots of smaller iron bridges, the deck is made of open grating that lets you look through the floor to the water below.
Note the angled supports
Detail of connection
Note damage at end of lattice piece
Looking over North Fork Salt Creek
This bridge, tagged Brown County Bridge #33, known to locals as the Green Valley Road Bridge, is an iron pony truss design. The bridge spans the North Fork of Salt Creek. The nearly 90 foot long span was constructed in 1915 by the Cambria Steel Co. of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Cambria was a very prolific builder in many midwestern states at the turn of the century.
Open grate bridge deck
Probably needs an engineer to have a look
The Green Valley Road runs through a beautiful part of Brown County, one of Indiana’s most visited counties. This small bridge adds to the charm of the road and surrounds. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The structure could use a coat of paint. Some rather noticeable damage has occurred on one side of an approach. This damage may or may not be structural and hopefully is not hazardous to the bridge.
The weather was nearly perfect, not too hot, partly cloudy and a nice breeze. We decide that Sunday would be a great time to get out and have a day trip. Our son put together a tentative itinerary, and we hit the road late morning. It was sure nice having our son driving.
Soybean fields, forests and a covered bridge
We had quite a day, long in time but most enjoyable. We saw several historic bridges, which you know we enjoy visiting. A country church was a nice stop. We also visited some of the shops in Nashville, Indiana, a huge tourist mecca in south central Indiana. (Yep, two fudge shoppes!)
More deer images coming
We also had a couple of wineries planned. In addition, we found a distillery we were not aware of. Turns out is is well known, and had a marvelous tasting event and enjoyable grounds. In addition we were blessed with the sightings of quite a lot of wildlife and frankly a few surprises as well. Stay tuned, we have several posts on the way!
Once again we came across an unexpected visual treat while heading to some historic covered bridges. Near Enochsburg Indiana on Base Road is the beautiful St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.
The church edifice faces one of the two cemeteries on the grounds
The steeple back-lit by the sun
The cemetery across the road is the newer of the two. The iron double gate entrance has two crosses in the design, and this gate highlights the monument in the cemetery. The rolling terrain provides a striking background to this peaceful resting place.
The entrance gates
View through the gate
Behind the church on a very hilly plot of ground is the original cemetery. This, the Old St. John’s Cemetery was first used in 1846. This cemetery is officially a Historic Cemetery listed in Indiana’s Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry of the Department of Natural Resources. At the lower end of the hill and at the end of the cemetery is a beautiful shrine that was installed in gratitude for the safe return of St. John parishioners who served in WWII.
The original old cemetery behind the church
“Our Lady, Queen of Peace” Shrine
St. John the Evangelist Church is one of two Catholic churches that make up the St. Catherine of Siena Parish. From the parish website: “St. Catherine of Siena Parish is a newly formed Catholic parish with two worship sites. St. John of Enochsburg and St. Maurice of St. Maurice were merged into one parish in December 2013 with each site offering very unique resources to create a stronger Catholic community.”
This covered bridge is in Franklin County, Indiana on the Enochsburg Road. The bridge was built by the Smith Bridge Company from Toledo, Ohio. The Smith Bridge Company was a large and very prolific bridge construction company, building bridges all over the Midwest.
Also known as the Enochsburg Road Bridge
Graffiti is a problem on this bridge
Top chords and roofing details
Note the diagonal deck boards under the wheel tracks
Photo credit Tom Hoffman, 2009 restoration project
This bridge is not very long, at just over 100 feet in length. The covered Howe through truss system used by Smith was also used by other builders, including Hardman. The bridge spans over Salt Creek on the Enochsburg Road. It was constructed in 1887 and underwent an extensive “rehabilitation” project in 2009. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 20, 2002
This looks like the bridge was just plopped down on the edge of a forest
We visited another one of Hardman’s bridges at Versailles, Indiana. Hardman uses the Howe truss system, as opposed to the Burr-arch trusses that the Kennedy builders use. This bridge is called the Busching bridge, and is 182 feet long with a 14.1 foot wide deck. It spans Laughery Creek on Ripley County CR 40 South.
Notice this design has an overhang at each end
Busching Bridge name and build date
A look at the Howe truss system
Scenic view of Laughery Creek
Photo taken by Bryan E. Ketcham On Apr. 22,1946 at 10:35 a.m.
Another view with details of the Howe truss system
This is another fine example of a Thomas A. Hardman built bridges. It was restored in 2005 and is well maintained. The bridge was posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 19, 2019. Coming from Versailles on CR 40 you cross the bridge and enter the valley. The entrance to the Versailles State Park and the new park offices are to the left after you leave the bridge.
We never know what we’re going to find when we head out for a daytrip or longer time on the road. Our last day trip was no different. We expected the covered bridges, and even the country cemeteries and churches were no real surprise. What was a surprise was what greeted us as we pulled into the offices of Versailles State Park in Versailles, Indiana.
He has his axe and is ready for work
Very handsome bronze statue
This statue represents and honors the men who worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps that operated from 1933 to 1942. President Roosevelt started the program to provide not only conservation projects but also to provide jobs during the Great Depression years. A CCC workforce performed many forestry and conservation projects at Versailles State Park.
The plaque on the statue base
There are actually over 75 of these statues around the country in various locations that utilized CCC work forces. We strongly recommend the CCC Legacy website. It has the fascinating and frankly complex story of the CCC and it’s good and bad times. It is worth your time to take a look if you like history.
Just east of Westport, Indiana, a small community in Decatur County you will come to a beautifully maintained covered bridge. Painted white with a green roof, some will immediately recognize this as a bridge constructed by the Kennedy family of bridge builders, in this case A.M. Kennedy and Sons Builders.
We’re appreciating another magnificent late 19th century bridge
Constructed in 1880, this bridge is a typical Kennedy work utilizing a single span Burr-Arch truss system. This bridge is 130 feet long as it crosses over Sand Creek on Laughton Road. It was actually bypassed in the early 1970’s when a new bridge and road improvements were made on CR 1100S, just downstream from the bridge. The bridge underwent a total restoration in 2004.
Looking upstream towards the bridge
Shows massive abutment the bridge rests on
Typical Kennedy lettering and scroll work
Some have to leave initials. Note the lights…
1945 photo (courtesy bridgehunter.com)
Burr-Arch truss system. Lots of lights everywhere!
As noted in the post title, there are strings of Christmas lights all over the bridge members. Strings of white “twinkle” lights are stretched across the top chords of the structure. Multi-colored lights are placed along the sides of the bridge, and also are draped following the curved Burr-Arches on either side. There is a timer hooked to power on one end, and the lighting seems to be a permanent installation. We talked and said we’d love to come back at night to see this bridge all lit up.