Mill Creek Covered Bridge

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Mill Creek Covered Bridge
Thompson’s Ford, Tow Path Bridge, and Earl Ray Bridge
National Register of Historic Places
Official name: Mill Creek Covered Bridge
Named for: Mill Creek
Country  United States
State  Indiana
County Parke
Township Liberty
Road Towpath Road
Crosses Mill Creek, Indiana
Coordinates 39°54′30.79″N 87°21′39.15″W / 39.9085528°N 87.3608750°W / 39.9085528; -87.3608750Coordinates: 39°54′30.79″N 87°21′39.15″W / 39.9085528°N 87.3608750°W / 39.9085528; -87.3608750
Length 112 ft (34 m) 92ft +10ft overhangs on each end
Width 15 ft (5 m)
Clearance 15 ft (5 m)
Load 3 tons
Builder Hendricks, William; D.M. Brown, Contractor
Design Burr Arch truss single-span bridge
Material Wood
Built 1907 Original Cost <$2,250
Owned and Maintained by Parke County
NBI Number 6100152[1]
WGCB Number #14-61-29 [2]
Added to NRHP Dec 22, 1978
NRHP Ref# 78000403 [3]
MPS Parke County Covered Bridges TR
Location of the Mill Creek Bridge in Indiana
Map of USA IN.svg
Location of Indiana in the United States

The Mill Creek Covered Bridge also known as "Thompson's Ford Covered Bridge," "Tow Path Covered Bridge," or "Earl Ray Covered Bridge" crosses Wabash Mill Creek (historic) southwest of Tangier, Indiana. It is a single span Burr Arch Truss covered bridge structure that was built by D. M. Brown in 1907.[4][5]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[3]


The bridge crosses Mill Creek near land that was owned by Thornton Thompson. Though Thompson's Ford was probably named after Joseph Thompson who built a small mill nearby in 1829. It's also been suggested that Earl Ray Covered Bridge comes from a prominent nearby citizen and well known auctioneer. The name Tow Path Covered Bridge comes from the fact that Tow Path Road crosses the bridge. The Wabash and Erie Canal crossed Mill creek just to the south of where the bridge is built. The towpath for the canal was later turned into a road, south of the bridge where the canal ran parallel to the current road, when the canal was discontinued. The actual towpath wasn't near the bridge however. The canal had been out of use for many years by the time the bridge was built but an aqueduct that crossed the creek was occasionally used as a bridge after the canal was drained.

Joseph J. Daniels had sent in a bid for the bridge on May 18, 1899, for $1,485 for the superstructure or $2,520 including the abutments. D.M. Brown was awarded the contract so apparently his bid was for less. However, Mr. Brown had so much trouble getting the bridge started that he had to hire William Hendricks, who had more experience, for the direct construction.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ a b "Mill Creek Covered Bridge". Parke County Incorporated / Parke County Convention and Visitors Commission. Retrieved 2012-10-18. 
  5. ^ "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.