Skip to main content

Crooks Covered Bridge - Parke County, Indiana

Built in 1856, the Crooks Covered Bridge is said to be the oldest of the 31 remaining covered bridges in Parke County, Indiana. The covered bridge is a 154-foot-long single-span Burr Arch truss structure that includes a hewn stone foundation. The bridge crosses Little Raccoon Creek just southeast of Rockville, Indiana, and is also known as the Walker Adams Bridge or Darroch's Lost Bridge. But the Crooks Covered Bridge has quite an interesting history behind it as well.

Crooks Covered Bridge, like many others in Parke County and beyond, was originally associated with a mill. In this case, it was Parkers Mill, which was built in 1830 on Little Raccoon Creek. Located about a half mile south of the Little Raccoon Bridge on the Rockville New Discovery Road, accounts from the mill state that a covered bridge was constructed just upstream from the ripple and dam. Parke County Commissioners records indicate that a bridge crossing the Little Raccoon Creek was discussed in 1850. In December 1855, a bridge was ordered and it was to be located on the old Rockville Greencastle Road. The original builder of the bridge was Henry Wolf and the bridge was built for $1,200.

Over time, the waterway where Crooks Covered Bridge crossed over had filled with sand and the creek had reportedly moved 20 rods to the west. Topographic maps show that an intermittent stream known as Molasses Creek was in about the location of the old creek bed. It had been decided to dismantle the bridge in 1863, but here's where various accounts make the true story seem murky. Some say the bridge washed downstream and a foundation and new road were put in place where the bridge debris landed. Others claim that the creek changed course and the bridge needed to be moved to span the banks. Another source reports General Arthur Patterson, one of the founders of Rockville, Indiana, rebuilt the bridge in 1872. Another account states that prolific covered bridge builder Joseph J. (J.J.) Daniels recommended that the Crooks Covered Bridge be rebuilt at Darroch's Site, which he considered safe from flooding. Daniels had his hand in building many covered bridges in Parke County.

I visited the Crooks Covered Bridge in June 2019. The red-painted covered bridge is a joy to visit and there is even a parallel road through the creek as well where you can take pictures from. The bridge windows are a nice touch. If you are taking a tour of the Parke County covered bridges, the Crooks Covered Bridge is certainly worth a stop, whether it's for the bridge's back story or the quaint feeling you get from seeing the bridge in modern times.

A view inside the covered bridge.

Side view of the covered bridge.

Parallel road along the covered bridge. The low profile may mean fording the creek during periods of higher water.

A gentle creek passes under the Crooks Covered Bridge.

A parting shot of the Crooks Covered Bridge. Someone must have thought that the bridge clearance was nice.

How to Get There:

Sources and Links:
Indiana Covered Bridge Society - The Crooks Bridge
Parke County - Crooks Covered Bridge # 12
Indiana Memory - Crooks Covered Bridge, Parke County, Indiana
Susan Tregoning Photography - A Guide to Parke County, Indiana: The Covered Bridge Capital of America
Travel Indiana - Explore the Covered Bridge Capital this Season
The Municipal - Maintaining covered bridges for generations to come


Popular posts from this blog

North Carolina Continues to Move Forward with Rail

2023 and the first half of 2024 have seen continued growth in North Carolina's passenger rail system.  From increased daily trains from Raleigh to Charlotte, federal funds for studying additional corridors, and receiving a historic grant to begin the construction of high-speed rail between Raleigh and Richmond, the last 18 months have been a flurry of activity at NCDOT's Rail Division.  And that's just the tip of the iceberg. As ridership and routes increase - the engine of North Carolina passenger rail trains will become a more common sight. (Adam Prince) Increased Passenger Train Service: On July 10, 2023, a fourth Piedmont round-trip rail service between Raleigh and Charlotte commenced.  The four Piedmont trains plus the daily Carolinian (to Washington, DC, and New York) bring the total of trains serving the two cities daily to five. The current daily Piedmont and Carolinian schedule between Charlotte and Raleigh (NCDOT) The result was over 641,000 passengers utilized pa

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   This blog is part of the larger Gribblenation US Route 99 Page.  For more information pertaining to the other various segments of US Route 99 and it's three-digit child routes check out the link the below. Gribblenation US Route 99 Page The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact, the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine w

US Route 101 in Benbow, Garberville and Redway

The communities of Benbow, Garberville and Redway can all be found along US Route 101 within southern Humboldt County.  The former surface alignment of US Route 101 in Garberville and Redway once crossed the Garberville Bluffs along what is now Redwood Drive via a corridor constructed as part of the Redwood Highway during the 1910s.  US Route 101 through Benbow, Garberville and Redway was modernized by 1935.  US Route 101 would eventually be upgraded to freeway standards in Benbow, Garberville and Redway by extension of the Redwood Freeway during 1966-68.  As the cover photo the original grade of US Route 101 and the Redwood Highway can be seen at the Garberville Bluffs during 1934.  US Route 101 can be seen in the communities of Benbow, Garberville and Redway on the 1935 Division of Highways Map of Humboldt County .   The history of US Route 101 in Benbow, Garberville and Redway Benbow, Garberville and Redway lie on the banks of the South Fork Eel River of southern Humboldt County.  D