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?
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.
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.
In what some may say is an area “out in the middle of nowhere” in Ripley County, Indiana, travelers will stumble upon a unique and historic covered bridge. Built in 1884 by Thomas A. Hardman, this bridge has a unique history as well.
Closed to road traffic in 1996, it is now open only to foot traffic.
The Otter Creek Bridge, also known locally as the Holton Bridge, is constructed with the Howe truss system. This design was invented by a William Howe, an American architect born in 1803. The Howe truss design, patented in 1840, became one of the most popular structural designs and continued to see use in later metal bridge designs.
View of the 113 foot bridge over Otter Creek
Maj examining the deck timber supports
A good view of the Howe truss system, and the roof supports as well
Nice information signage!
The bridge is in excellent condition
The bridge in 1943 (courtesy bridgehunter.com)
The bridge roof was partially ripped off during a straight line wind storm just months after it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Repairs were completed quickly and the structure again opened to pedestrian traffic. This piece of American history is located in a peaceful and beautiful setting and worth the drive to see.