Covered Bridges

Note:  No two pieces of wood look alike.  Within a board, two sections can have different coloration. The wood samples below are generic swatches to give you some idea about whether the wood is dark or light. The actual woods may vary in color.

Did you know that at one time, there was at least one covered bridge in each of the 55 West Virginia Counties. There are only 16 or 17 left. I am not sure whether to count the Carrolton Covered Bridge in Barbour County. I haven’t been to it since shortly after the fire which took most of the “covered” part of the bridge and haven’t heard any accounts as to whether it will be rebuilt as a covered bridge. As a child and then as a WVU student, I passed the Carrolton Road hundreds and hundreds of times. My maternal grandparents lived in Morgantown and I grew up in Buckhannon. The Philippi-Grafton route was the only reasonable way to get there and back. I had no idea that the “Low Clearance ¾ mile” sign was a clue to a hidden treasure.
The Mud River (aka Milton Covered Bridge) is touted as the most heavily travelled covered bridge in WV today. It has been moved from its original site across the Mud River to the Pumpkin Park in Milton where tens of thousands of pedestrians cross it each year giving it the bragging rights as the most heavily traveled.
Enjoy a trek through WV via the history of the bridges represented here.

Wood SourceHistory of WoodWood Sample
Barrackville Covered Bridge Marion County White Oak

The Barrackville Covered Bridge was built in 1853 over Buffalo Creek by Lemuel Chenoweth. At 146 feet, it is the second longest remaining covered bridge in WV.

Photo By Brian M. Powell [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Barrackville_Covered_Bridge_-_Side_in_Winter.jpg

Carrolton Covered Bridge Barbour County Poplar

This wood was part of the Carrollton Covered Bridge, in Barbour County, West Virginia, USA, which is the second longest and third oldest surviving covered bridge in the state. The wooden bridge spans the Buckhannon River near Carrollton and was built in 1856. National Register of Historic Places.

Photo By Brian M. Powell [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carrollton_Covered_Bridge.jpg

 

Cheat River Covered Bridge Preston County Poplar

This wood was reclaimed from the Cheat River Covered Bridge which was built in 1835 between Cool Springs and Erwin. A new steel bridge was started in 1932 and in 1934 the old bridge was closed to traffic. It was destroyed by fire on May 23, 1964.

Grant Town Covered Bridge Marion County Poplar

This poplar was part of the Grant Town Covered Bridge which was destroyed in 1980 when a flood lifted it from its foundation and took it down stream where it slammed into the bank and virtually exploded.

Milton Covered Bridge Cabell County Pine

The Milton Covered Bridge, also known as the Mud River Covered Bridge, was built in 1876 on Cabell County Route 25. In 2011, it was moved to The Pumpkin Park where it is perhaps the most “well-traveled” of WV’s seventeen covered bridges.

Philippi Covered Bridge – 1938 Renovation Barbour County Poplar

This poplar was reclaimed as part of the 1938 renovation when the floor was replaced with a concrete, reinforced one and provided as a souvenir at the Covered Bridge Centennial, Philippi, WV, August 28-30, 1952.

Photo By Hu Maxwell [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Philippi Covered Bridge – 1989 Renovation Barbour County Poplar

This poplar was reclaimed as part of the 1989-1991 renovation following the February 2, 1989 fire which virtually destroyed the bridge which was built in 1852 at a cost of just over $12,000.

Photo By Valerius Tygart [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Philippi Covered Bridge – 2015 Renovation Barbour County White Oak

This white oak was reclaimed as part of the 2015 renovation of the bridge. The wood served as a wedge holding tightly the mortise and tenon joints securing the main arches in the interior.

Photo By Carol M. Highsmith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons