Charlton Mill Covered Bridge

The Charlton Mill Covered Bridge was originally built by Henry Hebble in 1883. This bridge was a classic Howe through truss design, and the Charlton Mill structure was quite long, with 12 truss panels and a total length of 128 feet. The bridge spans Massies Creek north of Xenia in Greene County, Ohio.

The approach to the bridge

Looking down the 120 foot long span

View of Massies Creek






Time took its toll on the original bridge constructed by Henry Hebble. An unfortunate mistake by a dump truck driver in 1969 resulted in a 20 ton load of gravel crashing through the deck and depositing the truck in the creek below. That took some serious repair.

Photo by Bill Caswell in 2009 before bridge was razed, note brace/top chord connection and wood deck runners

Photo for comparison of the construction details, again note brace/top chord connection and asphalt deck

Close look at stringers for the exterior siding and bottom chord details

Roof framing details












Finally the decision was made in 2013 that the condition of the bridge was beyond repair. Thus the structure was razed, and a new replacement bridge was constructed on the same site.  The truss design remains faithful to the original Howe through truss, all 12 panels of it. Some metal attachment accessories are used to attach the angle braces to the top and bottom chords, and modern nailing plates are used in the roof rafter systems. And a thin asphalt deck overlay?  Seriously? There are already places where this overlay is peeling up.

Indiana’s only Long truss covered bridge

This historic bridge has had quite the history. Originally constructed in Union County in 1840, this Long truss design covered bridge was built by Adam Mason and designed by Col. Stephen H. Long. Time passed, and the bridge was dismantled in 1974 and stored in Indianapolis.





The bridge was rebuilt at half its original length at the Mill Race Park in Columbus, Indiana. There the bridge provides both a one lane driving road and spans part of the water leading to a lovely pond circled by concrete sidewalks. Mill Creek Park is an extremely popular park close to downtown Columbus.