Civil War

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.

The Philippi Covered Bridge was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War.  It is an amazing structure and has survived well over the centuries.  Lemuel Chenowith was awarded the contract to design the bridge by building a six foot scale model of his vision of the bridge, setting it across two chairs, and standing on it.  It withstood his weight and as they say, “The rest is history.”  There was only one renovation in the first hundred years of its existence.  In 1938, the wooden floor was replaced with a concrete one.  Originally the bridge was a two span bridge with a single pier in the middle of the river.  By 1938, Henry Ford has changed the world and the additional weight and wear and tear of cars and trucks started to take their toll on the wooden floor, so it was replaced with a concrete floor.  The additional weight of the concrete required two additional piers.  The original center pier is hand cut stone, but the newer ones are concrete.  There have only been two other major restorations – one in 1989 as a result of the damage done by the infamous fire and a second one in 2015-16 which was primarily cosmetic.    There was some slight damage caused by the 1985 flood but nothing requiring major renovations.

There were dozens of other battles in what is now West Virginia and these are very important to our history and culture.  Please help me find wood from some other sites of Civil War battles.

Wood SourceHistory of WoodWood Sample
Bulltown Battlefield - Braxton County Locust

This locust was reclaimed from a fallen tree on the Bulltown Battlefield, site of a Union victory on October 13, 1863.

Home of General Robert S. Garnett Tucker County Pine

This wood was reclaimed from the home of Confederate General Robert S. Garnett who was the first general from either side killed in action in the Civil War. He was killed at Corricks Ford in Tucker County. WV. His body was carried to the Corrick House in Parsons.

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  (], 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