Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge

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Clarkson–Legg CB
The Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge near Cullman, Alabama.

34°12′27.08″N 86°59′27.35″W / 34.2075222°N 86.9909306°W / 34.2075222; -86.9909306

Clarkson Bridge
Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge is located in Alabama
Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge
Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge is located in the US
Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge
Nearest city Bethel, Alabama
Coordinates 34°12′27.08″N 86°59′27.35″W / 34.2075222°N 86.9909306°W / 34.2075222; -86.9909306Coordinates: 34°12′27.08″N 86°59′27.35″W / 34.2075222°N 86.9909306°W / 34.2075222; -86.9909306
Area 1 acre (0.4 ha)
Built 1904
Architectural style Other, Two Span Town Truss
NRHP Reference # 74000408[1]
Added to NRHP June 25, 1974
Carries pedestrian traffic (vehicles until 1962)
Crosses Crooked Creek
Locale Bethel, Alabama
Maintained by Cullman County Commission
ID number 01-22-01 (WGCB)
Design Town Lattice truss
Total length 270 ft (82 m)
Construction end 1904

The Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge, more simply known as Clarkson Covered Bridge, is a county-owned wooden covered bridge that spans Crooked Creek in Cullman County, Alabama, United States. It is located at Clarkson Covered Bridge Park on County Road 1043 (CR 1043) off U.S. Route 278 near the community of Bethel, about 8 miles (13 km) west of Cullman.

Originally built in 1904, the 270-foot (82-meter) bridge (although some other sources say the bridge is only 250 feet long, including NRHP) is a Town Lattice truss construction over four spans. The Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1974.[1] It is currently the second-longest existing covered bridge in Alabama and one of the longest in the United States. The bridge is maintained by the Cullman County Commission.


The Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge was constructed over Crooked Creek in 1904 on property owned by local mail carrier James W. Legg at the cost of $1,500. It was originally named the Legg Covered Bridge after the landowner, who saw the need for transportation improvement in the area and even supplied much of the materials.[2] A flood destroyed half of the bridge in 1921. Most of the pieces were recovered downstream, and the bridge was able to be rebuilt the following year, with help from a contractor hired by Cullman County, also at a cost of $1,500.[3] The covered bridge remained in service to motor traffic until 1962, when it was bypassed by a nearby concrete bridge. As part of the American Bicentennial Project, the Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge was restored by the Cullman County Commission in 1975, along with a gristmill and log cabin also located at Clarkson Covered Bridge Park.[4] A number of activities are now held at the park, including an annual event by the county called Old-Fashioned Days.

On Christmas Day of 2015, many of the paths and walkways within Clarkson Covered Bridge Park were damaged due to flooding after 8 inches (20 cm) of rain fell in a 24-hour period. The covered bridge itself was unharmed. Although the flood was not as significant as the one which occurred in 1921, it did require the park to be closed to the public while repairs were made. The park reopened on January 13, 2016.[5][6]

Civil War events[edit]

During the American Civil War, skirmishes at Crooked Creek and Hog Mountain occurred on April 30, 1863, in the vicinity of where the Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge currently stands.[7] It was part of a series of engagements which took place throughout Cullman County that day as a band of men led by Union Army Colonel Abel Streight were being pursued by forces led by Confederate Army General Nathan Bedford Forrest. This was due to a result of a failed attempt (later known as Streight's Raid) by Colonel Streight's group to cut off the Western & Atlantic Railroad, in Middle Tennessee, which was supplying Confederate Army forces commanded by General Braxton Bragg.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "Bridges to the Past". Max Shores. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ Floyd, W. Warner (April 12, 1974). "Clarkson Bridge" (PDF). National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form. National Park Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2014.  See also:
  4. ^ "Clarkson Covered Bridge". Cullman County Parks & Rec. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  5. ^, Clarkson Covered Bridge Park Reopens After Christmas Flood by Will Hougue, January 16, 2016, Retrieved Feb. 2, 2016.
  6. ^ The Cullman Times, Historic Clarkson Covered Bridge closed due to flood damage by Tiffeny Owens, December 26, 2015, Retrieved Feb. 2, 2016.
  7. ^ "State offers 12 sites on 'Covered Bridge Trail'". The Decatur Daily. November 1, 2006. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • "01-22-01". Round Barns & Covered Bridges. Dale J. Travis. Retrieved March 9, 2014.