James Covered Bridge
James Covered Bridge is located on West County Road 625S in Jennings County, Indiana and crosses Graham Creek. It is named for Thomas S. James who owned the adjacent property and mill.1 3 The bridge is also commonly referred to as the Kissing Bridge, as the names of several of James’ children and those that they courted are scribed on the wood inside the truss.3
On March 26, 1887, John F. Hayden, Eli Wells and James McManaman, all county commissioners, ordered that a bridge be built at James Ford in Lovett Township.3 Early on, Robert Carson filed suit to have the bridge built at Carson Ford, a mile upstream, but the lawsuit was filed too late and was quickly dismissed.
The James Covered Bridge was proposed to be 130 feet long with a main span of 122 feet and that it be a covered Howe truss with wrought iron tie rods and cast iron angle blocks.3 In reality, the bridge was built 140 feet long with a main span length of 124 feet.
Construction by Barron & Hole began shortly thereafter with the laying of the one foot thick native limestone abutments, followed by the erection of the Howe truss superstructure.3 Wood was furnished by the local James Saw Mill. Construction took five to six weeks to complete.
In December 2007, a request for proposal for a letter of interest was announced for the rehabilitation of James Covered Bridge.2 The request estimated the renovation cost would be $403,200.