Seven is Missouri’s lucky number when it comes to existing covered bridges, and if you are a bridge buff, our fine state has some beautiful offerings for a road trip.
According to www.coveredbridgemap.com, there are seven covered bridges on the Missouri map—Bollinger Mill (Burfordville), Centennial Park, E.D. Rush, Locust Creek, Long Pine Crossing, Sandy Creek and Union. However, only four of these (Burfordville, Locust Creek, Sandy Creek and Union) are listed as State Historic Sites by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
The Missouri State Park Board took possession of the remaining bridges in the area in 1967. There were about 30 covered bridges in Missouri at the turn of the century, and the state is doing its part to preserve what we have left. As recently as 2011, a federal grant for $144,788 from the Federal Highway Administration was awarded to the Sandy Creek and Union bridges for repairs and preservation.
Sandy Creek was one of six bridges built in 1872 to allow passage from the Jefferson County seat of Hillsboro to St. Louis, according to www.mostateparks.com. It was built by John H. Morse, whose design also was used to build Burfordville and Locust Creek. The bridge is 74 feet, six inches long and 18 feet, 10 inches wide. The entrance height is 13 feet.
Bollinger Mill State Historic Site houses Burfordville Covered Bridge, one of the four on the special historic site list. It is the oldest remaining covered bridge in Missouri, however experts are unclear if its construction was completed before or after the Civil War. The bridge spans the Whitewater River in Southeast Missouri and the road going through the bridge was formerly part of a toll road system. It now is open only to pedestrian traffic, with guided tours available.
Locust Creek Covered Bridge, built in 1868, once housed the nation’s first transcontinental road, Route 8. According the Missouri State Parks website, the bridge at Locust Creek is the longest of the four preserved bridges, measuring 151 feet. William Howe’s Howe-truss system was part of the unique design.
The last bridge in the final four, Union Covered Bridge, sits in Monroe County and was built in 1871. It is the only one of the four that has the Burr-arch truss design.
No matter if you are a picnicker, a photographer or a history buff, all four sites have something unique to offer—pieces of Missouri’s history at its finest.
Do you enjoy exploring Missouri’s history? Tell us about your experiences!
– See more at: http://www.missouri.com/articles/316-missouri-s-historic-bridges-have-you-covered#sthash.2LGILnJV.dpuf