Indian Creek Covered Bridge

    Indian Creek Covered Bridge

    Indian Creek Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge over Indian Creek in Monroe County, West Virginia.


    Monroe County’s roads near the advent of the 20th century were crude at best and impassable during inclement weather, partly because of a lack of fixed crossings over streams that could easily overflow their banks. As part of a program for roadway improvements along the Sweet and Salt Springs Turnpike southwest of Union and Salt Sulphur Springs, the county awarded a contract for the construction of a covered bridge over Indian Creek to Oscar and Ray Weikel in 1898. 1 2 Originally planned as an arched structure, the Weikel’s devised their own plans for a modified Howe truss with a level floor which the county agreed to.

    The enterprising brothers were 16 and 18 years old, respectively, and their guarantee for the completion of the structure was backed by their uncles who operated a sawmill in the county. 1 The pair set up a sawmill near the bridge site and had logs delivered by oxen. Large timbers were lifted into place by a self-designed apparatus that consisted of a double-geared, back-action cant hook. The bridge was completed later in the year and accepted by the county who paid $400 for the structure.

    In 1929, the covered bridge was bypassed with a concrete span and it deteriorated. 1

    Deteriorating, Monroe County Historical Society leased the covered bridge in 1965 with the intent of restoring it for pedestrians. 1 2 Oscar Weikel, then 81 years old, and a third Weikel brother was contracted to assist in the rehabilitation project. Although the abutments and framing were in good condition, siding was replaced where needed, and the floor and roof were entirely replaced. As chestnut wood was not available for the roofing shingles, red oak was substituted. The shingles were made on-site with a free and mallet and placed in the dark of night under a moon so they would not warp.

    The Indian Creek Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. It was  restored by Hoke Brothers Construction of Union at the cost of $334,446 in 2000-01. 2


    Information

    • State: West Virginia
    • Route: Formerly Sweet and Salt Sulphur Springs Turnpike
    • Type: Covered Howe Truss
    • Status: Active - Pedestrian
    • Total Length: 49.3 feet
    • Deck Width: 11 feet, 7½ inches
    • Height: 18 feet, 2½ inches
    • Above Vertical Clearance: 12.1 feet

    Sources

    1. Turley, C. E. “Indian Creek Covered Bridge.” National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form, 19 Dec. 1974.
    2. Chambers Jr., S. Allen. “Indian Creek Covered Bridge.” Society of Architectural Historians, 2012.

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