Beeson Covered Bridge
|Beeson Covered Bridge|
|National Register of Historic Places|
Beeson Covered Bridge in Billie Creek Village
|Official name: Beeson Covered Bridge|
|Named for: The Beeson Family|
|Road||Pedestrian (Not open to commercial traffic.)|
|City||Billie Creek Village|
|Length||55 ft (17 m)|
|Width||16 ft (5 m)|
|Clearance||12.5 ft (4 m)|
|Builder||Frankfort Construction Company|
|Design||Burr arch truss bridge|
|Added to NRHP||Dec 22, 1978|
|NRHP Ref#||78003447 |
|MPS||Parke County Covered Bridges TR|
The Beeson Covered Bridge originally crossed the Roaring Creek, near Marshall, Indiana in Washington Township, but due to another bridge across the county being named the Marshall Covered Bridge it was named after the nearby Beeson family. William H. Beeson, who was born in 1879 owned 53 acres of land near the bridge. It crossed Roaring Creek on C.R. 216 which doesn't exist anymore. From looking at maps of the period when the bridge was built it would have been in the vicinity of .
The bridge was closed in 1969 because the abutments were declared unsafe. In March 1979 a nearby concrete bridge collapsed. This, along with the earlier closing of the Beeson Bridge, caused a severe problem with access to Marshall and nearby Turkey Run High School and Turkey Run State Park. The Roaring Creek Citizens Association (RCCA) was formed to address this problem.
At 11:47 pm on August 9, 1979, just shortly after the RCCA had a meeting at Turkey Run High School, a fire was reported at the Beeson Bridge. Firefighters from Marshall fought from the south end while firefighters from Bloomingdale fought from the north end of the bridge. The fire was found to be a clear case of arson, fuel oil odors were still strong the following morning. The Parke County Sheriff's Department, Indiana State Police Department and the Indiana State Fire Marshal all were part of the investigation, owing that it is a registered national landmark the FBI probably had jurisdiction too but declined to join. Due to the fire happening so close to the RCCA meeting the RCCA threatened legal action with anyone accusing them of being connected with the fire.
Less than a week later another fire was started just after midnight on August 15, 1979. A nearby neighbor, Bill Connerly saw someone at the bridge and heard a car turn around in his driveway. Shortly after that he saw flames at the bridge and contacted the Fire Department. The Marshall Fire Department found the bridge floor covered in flames but was quickly able to extinguish them.
On December 4, 1979 the Buchta Trucking Company began moving the bridge to its current location over Williams Creek in Billie Creek Village, Rockville, Indiana. They first removed the roof and sides before transporting the rest of the bridge.
- Billie Creek Village
- Arch in the Town of Marshall
- Lusk Home and Mill Site, within Turkey Run State Park
- Richard Lieber Log Cabin, within Turkey Run State Park
- Parke County Covered Bridges
- List of Registered Historic Places in Indiana
- Parke County Covered Bridge Festival
- Staff (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-06-01. Note: This includes Charles Felkner (December 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Parke County Covered Bridge Historic District" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-06-01., Site map, and Accompanying photographs.
- "Beeson Covered Bridge". Parke County Incorporated / Parke County Convention and Visitors Commission. Retrieved 2015-01-17.