Skip to main content

Bridgeton Covered Bridge - Parke County, Indiana


The Bridgeton Covered Bridge may be the most famous coverage bridge in Indiana and for good reason. Located in Bridgeton in Parke County, Indiana, it is the jewel of the crown in a county that has 31 covered bridges. Parke County fashions itself as the Covered Bridge Capital of the World and has an annual Covered Bridge Festival every October, with the Bridgeton Covered Bridge as one of its most popular stops. As an enthusiast of covered bridges, I decided to check out some of Parke County's covered bridges during a trip that took me through Indiana and stopped at the Bridgeton Covered Bridge on the way.

The Bridgeton Covered Bridge is a 245-foot-long Burr Arch two-span covered bridge that crosses Big Raccoon Creek next to a mill dam and the historic Bridgeton Mill. But this is not the first covered bridge located in Bridgeton, Indiana, as the original Bridgeton Covered Bridge had been destroyed by an arsonist on April 28, 2005. But given the identity of the covered bridge, builder Dan Collom and a group of volunteers banded together and construction on the current Bridgeton Covered Bridge was built and opened on October 1, 2006, replacing the first Bridgeton Covered Bridge which was built in 1868. There is a small park near the covered bridge to enjoy your surroundings and take pictures.

The original Bridgeton Covered Bridge replaced some previous crossings at this spot. There was an open bridge with wood piers and rails to provide passage over the Big Raccoon Creek between Bridgeton and the local area, but the bridge collapsed into the creek during a period of flooding. But with the Bridgeton Mill and the village of Bridgeton nearby, a new bridge was needed. The community's name of Bridgeton gets its name from the previous bridge that crossed the creek here. Several bids were submitted for bridge construction, and in 1868, a bid by J.J. Daniels for $10,200 was accepted for building the covered bridge. The Bridgeton Covered Bridge allowed vehicular traffic, first by horse and buggy, and later by automobile, until 1967, when a modern parallel span was built just upstream of the covered bridge.

For visitors to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge, the Bridgeton Mill is an easily identifiable landmark, and many pictures of the covered bridge include the adjacent mill. There has been a mill at this site for a couple of centuries, since 1823. The original Bridgeton Mill In an interesting quirk, there is a 200-foot-long mill dam next to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge and the foundation of the Bridgeton Mill is part of the dam. The mill burned down in 1869 but was rebuilt in 1871, ensuring that the mill and the covered bridge are woven into the local identity in this corner of Parke County.

Even before the bridge and mill came into existence, the 10 O'clock Treaty Line happened to cross right near the covered bridge. The 10 O'clock Treaty Line came into being in 1809 as a result of the Treaty of Fort Wayne, which was signed between Indiana Territorial Governor William Henry Harrison and local groups of Native Americans in Indiana led by the Miami and Potawatomi Nations to secure land for settlers to the area. As legend has it, in dealing with Governor Harrison, Miami Chief Little Turtle did not trust the surveying equipment used and would only accept a line created by the shadow of a spear thrown into the ground at ten o'clock in the morning. A historical marker denoting this treaty has been placed near the Bridgeton Covered Bridge.

I enjoyed my brief visit to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge. I found a small pull-off and park near the covered bridge to reflect for a few moments and took in some of the views of an early summer day in western Indiana. I observed that others would sit by the banks of the Big Raccoon Creek and relax by the water or go fishing. I look forward to seeing this covered bridge and others around Parke County in the future.

Crossing the modern bridge next to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge.

Bridge information painted on the top archway of the portals of the covered bridge. This is common to see among the bridges around Parke County Indiana, where you will find at least the name of the bridge listed on the portal.

Inside the covered bridge to look at the truss design. Unfortunately, several people took it among themselves to leave their mark on the beams and floor of the covered bridge.

A look at the bridge portal. There's even a staircase to walk up and down from the bridge.

The Big Raccoon Creek's mill dam and the Bridgeton Covered Bridge.

The Bridgeton Mill, established 1823, rebuilt 1870.

Another look at the Bridgeton Mill. This is as much a part of the landscape of Bridgeton as the Bridgeton Covered Bridge is.

Historic Bridgeton, Indiana. There are a number of historic homes and buildings in this community.

The 10 O'clock Line historic marker, found near the Bridgeton Covered Bridge.

A parting shot of the Bridgeton Covered Bridge before I continue on my way to other places.

How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
Parke County Convention & Visitors Commission - Bridgeton
Down the Road - The covered bridge at Bridgeton, Indiana
Bridgeton, Indiana - Rebuilding the Bridgeton Covered Bridge
Parke County Convention & Visitors Commission - Bridgeton Covered Bridge (#8)
Bridgeton Mill - The Bridgeton Covered Bridge Is "Indiana’s Most Famous Covered Bridge"
Our Brown County - The 10 O'Clock Line
Indiana Public Media - The Ten O'Clock Line Treaty


Jim Grey said…
I photographed this bridge shortly after it was built, when it was free of graffiti and the beams were all still fresh.

Popular posts from this blog

Horace Wilkinson Bridge (Baton Rouge, LA)

Standing tall across from downtown Baton Rouge, the Horace Wilkinson Bridge carries Interstate 10 across the lower Mississippi River between West Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parishes. Unusually, the bridge is actually named for three separate people; three generations of Horace Wilkinsons who served in the Louisiana State Legislature over a combined period of 54 years. Constructed in the 1960s and opened to traffic in 1968, this is one of the largest steel bridges on the lower Mississippi. It’s also the tallest bridge across the Mississippi, with its roadway reaching 175 ft at the center span. Baton Rouge is the northernmost city on the river where deep-water, ocean-going vessels can operate. As a result, this bridge is the northernmost bridge on the river of truly gigantic proportions. Altogether, the bridge is nearly 2 ½ miles long and its massive truss superstructure is 4,550 ft long with a center main truss span of 1,235 ft. The Horace Wilkinson Bridge is one of the largest

Sunshine Bridge (Donaldsonville, LA)

Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and New Orleans in southern Louisiana, the Sunshine Bridge spans the lower Mississippi River near the city of Donaldsonville as part of the longer Louisiana Highway 70 corridor, which connects Interstate 10 and Airline Highway (US 61) with US 90 in Morgan City. In the years following World War II, the only bridges across the lower Mississippi River in Louisiana were located in the area of the state’s two largest cities – Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Postwar agricultural and industrial development along the river in this region led to the planning of a series of infrastructure projects in southern Louisiana that were aimed at spurring this development and modernization of the Delta region. One of these projects was known as the Acadian Thruway and was developed in the 1950s as a toll road intended to connect greater New Orleans with Lafayette and points west while providing a high-speed bypass of the Baton Rouge metro area. The Thruway, which

Natchez-Vidalia Bridge (Natchez, MS)

  Located about halfway between Baton Rouge and Vicksburg near the city of Natchez, the Natchez-Vidalia Bridge crosses the lower Mississippi River between southwest Mississippi and northeastern Louisiana at the city of Vidalia. This river crossing is a dual span, which creates an interesting visual effect that is atypical on the Mississippi River in general. Construction on the original bridge took place in the late 1930s in conjunction with a much larger parallel effort by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to strengthen the area’s flood protection and levee system along the Mississippi River. One of the more ambitious aspects of this plan was to relocate the city of Vidalia to a location of higher ground about one mile downriver from the original settlement. The redirection of the river through the Natchez Gorge (which necessitated the relocation of the town) and the reconstruction of the river’s levee system in the area were undertaken in the aftermath of the Great Flood of 1927, wh