Covered bridge at Roann, Indiana

Roann Covered Bridge
Canon PowerShot S95

Indiana is famous for its wooden covered bridges. 98 still stand. Most were built in the mid-to-late 1800s, although some were built into the 1900s, to about 1912. One was built in 2006, after the original was burned in an arson fire. This one, in Roann in Wabash County, was built in 1872.

42 of Indiana’s covered bridges are in Parke and Putnam Counties, which neighbor each other in west central Indiana. You’ll find the rest sprinkled around the state.

The majority are not open to vehicular traffic. This one in Roann is. It creaks and pops as you drive over it, but it holds your car up just fine.

The wooden trusses inside the bridge do the work of managing the load. The wooden sides and roof are there to protect the trusses from the weather, so they last longer.

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Film Photography, Preservation, Road Trips

single frame: Roann Covered Bridge

The 1872 wooden covered bridge in Roann, Indiana.


5 thoughts on “single frame: Roann Covered Bridge

  1. If there are nearly 100 of these still standing, how does this compare with the number of iron truss bridges from the same era still in use? Could these covered wooden ones actually prove more durable in the end than iron bridges that are exposed to the elements?

    • Good question. The covered bridges have a broader appeal than the iron and steel bridges. They are often the hearts of their communities. That’s why they get restored so often. They were also never highway-grade bridges and so they tended to be bypassed early, where lots of the iron and steel bridges are two lanes wide. Those lanes may not be as wide as current standards, but oncoming traffic can share the bridge. So they tended to be used, and get the usual state maintenance, i.e., not nearly enough.

  2. What a great shot of a gorgeous bridge! My husband is from Indiana but we only ever visit over the holidays, and you know we’re always so rushed. One of these days I’d like to go back in summer, go exploring, and see more stuff like this!

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