Bennett’s Mill Covered Bridge
Bennett’s Mill Covered Bridge is a covered Wheeler truss in Greenup County, Kentucky. It is the only bridge of its type in existence.1 4
In 1855, Benjamin F. Bennett and William P. Bennett established a saw and grist mill along Tygart’s Creek and soon constructed a bridge over the stream.5 In 1874, a covered Wheeler truss was constructed, featuring yellow pine timbers, poplar siding, a white oak shingled roof and a solid oak floor.3 The Wheeler truss was patented in 1870 by Isaac H. Wheeler of Scioto County, Ohio and while the design was never mainstream, it was used in several crossings in the region.5
Bennett’s Mill Covered Bridge was repaired in 1915 when the roof and siding was replaced and again in 1954, the latter work being completed by Louis Bower of the Bower Bridge Company.5 At the time, the bridge was repainted green and white, a Bower trademark. The crossing was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It was repaired after an overloaded vehicle damaged the structure in 1976.
In 2000, the Federal Highway Administration awarded $600,000 towards the restoration of the Bennett’s Mill Covered Bridge.6 The span was closed to traffic in 2001 and rebuilt from 2002 to the fall of 2003.5 Only 15% of the original wood used in the original span was salvaged.2