The 1887 Stockheughter Covered Bridge

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

Otter Creek covered 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.

 

The Homer Covered Bridge saga

Yes, this marvelous covered bridge has what can be described as a life history of epic proportions. Here’s the Reader’s Digest version: Built in 1881 over Mud Creek in Rush County Indiana. Floated away during the flood of 1892, ended up downstream in a field. Farm owner turned the bridge into a barn. Barn started falling apart over the years. Local Pioneer Engineers (antique farm machinery club) dismantle bridge/barn and rebuild it on their grounds as a pedestrian bridge in 2009. Bridge saved!

Used as a barn in 2008, photo courtesy Bridgehunter.com

Rebuilt on new location at Caldwell Pioneer Acres

 

 

 

 

 

 

This bridge, originally built by A.M. Kennedy and Sons is constructed with Multiple King trusses. These are not the more common Burr Arch trusses used by Kennedy. Surprisingly, the lumber in the trusses was still in excellent condition after time and floods. Only the foundation lumber needed total replacement, along with siding and roofing.

Good view of the Multiple King trusses. Note the diagonals notched into verticals

Reproduced name and date on the reconstructed bridge

” For Machinists, Steam and Pump Fitters Work. Go To W.H. Moffett & Co.”

The advertisement sign above had made it through the years and was noticed when the bridge timbers were salvaged at the farm where the 1892 flood had placed the bridge. It survived all those decades. Now the sign, as well as the bridge itself, continue to provide a nostalgic look back into Indiana history.

 

E.L. Kennedy covered bridges

This was the last covered bridge built in Rush County

A look at the Burr-Arch truss system

Opening with overhang looks on the river

150 feet long, one lane wide and a 10 ton load limit

E. L. Kennedy and Sons bridge builders are part of the three generations of Kennedy Bridge builders in Indiana. Emmett came out of retirement after the great flood of 1913, which wiped out many covered bridges in central Indiana. He and his two sons Karl and Charles R. built the 150 foot long Norris Ford bridge over the Flat Rock River in Rush County.

There are not near as many of these bridges left as there were even 30 years ago. Those that are left should be saved. They are an important part of our history.

A classic 1877 covered bridge still in service

Rush County, Indiana is in the east central part of the state. On CR 150 North an 1877 historic covered bridge crosses over Flat Rock River.

Looking west on CR 150 North

The bridge was constructed by the A.M. Kennedy and Sons company, one of three large bridge construction companies building bridges in Indiana. This bridge is 121 feet long, 15.4 feet wide with a clear height of 13.5 feet above the wood deck. The design of this bridge is a Covered Burr arch-truss style.

Family name proudly displayed

Fancy filigree adds a touch of class

Structural details

Standing center span, looking upstream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This beautiful bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 2, 1983. There is mention that the bridge did suffer some damage a while back when a fire broke out. Repairs included adding several reinforcing steel plates to some structural members. Standing on the wood bridge deck it is easy to imagine hearing the clip clop of horses crossing this bridge long before cars were invented.