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.
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.