Skip to main content

Mansfield Covered Bridge - Indiana


 
The Mansfield Covered Bridge is the longest of the thirty-one covered bridges located in Parke County, Indiana. This Burr arch truss covered bridge spans 275 feet across the Big Raccoon Creek in the village of Mansfield, just off of Indiana State Road 59 (IN 59). Built in 1867 by covered bridge builder J.J. Daniels, the bridge cost $12,000 to construct. By that time, Daniels was well established around Parke County for his covered bridge work, as Daniels built twelve of the covered bridges in Parke County, nine of which are still standing today. It is possible to walk underneath the Mansfield Covered Bridge and take a look at some of his construction techniques in building the bridge. 

Most of the covered bridges in Parke County, including the Mansfield Covered Bridge, rest upon Indiana Sandstone that was quarried locally in the Big Raccoon Valley. The quarry exported stone for the construction of the famous brownstone buildings found in places like Chicago and Brooklyn, but also played their role in local projects as well. For a while, IN 59 passed over the bridge, but has since been bypassed just to the west. The bridge's roof and decks were replaced in 1980 and 1990. In 2006, after a storm tore the bridge's central roof off, repairs were finished a year later.

Mansfield, Indiana has long been a center of commerce in the area, and the covered bridge is a centerpiece of its heyday as a mill town. Mansfield was founded around 1820 as New Dublin, then was known as Dickson's Mills and Strain's Mills before being named Mansfield during the 1830s. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon Church, crossed the Big Raccoon Creek in Mansfield in 1834 on his way to Missouri. Mansfield was built around the historic Mansfield Roller Mill, likely used to roll down grain. Having the covered bridge located near the mill was great for the transport of goods and people to and from the mill. Today, just a few historic buildings remain in Mansfield.

Today, the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival brings plenty of activity to Mansfield, as this covered bridge is one of the most popular bridges to visit during the festival every fall. In fact, there's also ground for vendors to set up next to the covered bridge. However, I visited on a peaceful day in June of 2019 and found that the Mansfield Covered Bridge was great to explore, even when quiet and in a passive setting. 

Inside the covered bridge.

Mansfield Covered Bridge portal.

Side profile of the covered bridge

Some sources say the Mansfield Covered Bridge is 247 feet in length, other sources show the bridge is 275 feet long.

Historic marker showing the early years of Mansfield, Indiana.

Mansfield Roller Mill.


How to Get There:



Sources and Links:
They Used To Call Me Poindexter - Bridges of Indiana's Counties - Parke Co. - #38 Mansfield (4/31)
Mansfield Restoration - The Old Mansfield Village Story

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Bayshore Freeway (US Route 101)

The Bayshore Freeway is a 56.4-mile component of US Route 101 located in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The Bayshore Freeway connects the southern extent of San Jose to the Central Freeway in the city of San Francisco.  The corridor was originally developed as the Bayshore Highway between 1923 and 1937.  The Bayshore Highway would serve briefly as mainline US Route 101 before being reassigned as US Route 101 Bypass in 1938.  Conceptually the designs for the Bayshore Freeway originated in 1940 but construction would be delayed until 1947.  The Bayshore Freeway was completed by 1962 and became mainline US Route 101 during June 1963.   Part 1; the history of the Bayshore Freeway Prior the creation of the Bayshore Highway corridor the most commonly used highway between San Jose and San Francisco was El Camino Real (alternatively known as Peninsula Highway).  The  American El Camino Real  began as an early example of a signed as an Auto Trail starting in 1906.  The era of State Highway Mainte

Former US Route 101 and California State Route 41 through Paso Robles

Paso Robles is a city located on the Salinas River of San Luis Obispo County, California.  As originally configured the surface alignments of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 converged in downtown Paso Robles.  US Route 101 originally was aligned through Paso Robles via Spring Street.  California State Route 41 entered the City of Paso Robles via Union Road and 13th Street where it intersected US Route 101 at Spring Street.  US Route 101 and California State Route 41 departed Paso Robles southbound via a multiplex which split near Templeton.   Pictured above is the cover of the September/October 1957 California Highways & Public Works which features construction of the Paso Robles Bypass.  Pictured below is the 1935 Division of Highways Map of San Luis Obispo County which depicts US Route 101 and California State Route 41 intersecting in downtown Paso Robles.   Part 1; the history of US Route 101 and California State Route 41 in Paso Robles Paso Robles ("Pass of the

Paper Highways; US Route 20 Alternate over Teton Pass

The 8,431-foot-high Teton Pass lies in the Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains within Teton County, Wyoming.  Presently Teton Pass is crossed by Wyoming Highway 22 and Idaho State Highway 33.  At one point the highway over Teton Pass was signed as US Route 20 Alternate.  US Route 20 Alternate was over Teton Pass never formally approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials nor has the corridor ever been officially part of a US Route.  The image above was taken from the 1949 Rand McNally Map of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana which shows US Route 20 Alternate branching from US Route 20/US Route 191 near Sugar City, Idaho and crossing Teton Pass towards Jackson, Wyoming.   Part 1; the history of US Route 20 Alternate over Teton Pass No major Auto Trail was ever assigned to Teton Pass as evidenced by the 1925 Rand McNally Map of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming .  On the Wyoming side Teton Pass can be seen as part of Wyoming Highway 25 ("WY 25") whereas no State Highway is