West Union Covered Bridge (Indiana)

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West Union Covered Bridge
National Register of Historic Places
West Union Covered Bridge
Official name: West Union Covered Bridge
Named for: West Union, Indiana
Country  United States
State  Indiana
County Parke
Township Reserve
Road Tow Path Road (C.R. 525W) Road bypasses bridge, bridge closed to vehicular traffic.
Crosses Sugar Creek, Parke County, Indiana
Coordinates 39°51′17.75″N 87°20′8.75″W / 39.8549306°N 87.3357639°W / 39.8549306; -87.3357639Coordinates: 39°51′17.75″N 87°20′8.75″W / 39.8549306°N 87.3357639°W / 39.8549306; -87.3357639
Length 337 ft (103 m) 310ft +10ft +17ft overhangs on each end
Width 17 ft (5 m) [1]
Clearance 14.5 ft (4 m)
Builder Daniels, J.J.
Design Double Burr Arch truss double span bridge
Material Wood
Built 1876 Original Cost $16,125 or $8,900
 - Repaired abutments 1913 and 1931
Owned and Maintained by Parke County
WGCB Number #14-61-27 [2]
Added to NRHP Dec 22, 1978
NRHP Ref# 78000414 [3]
MPS Parke County Covered Bridges TR
Designated a NHL December 23, 2016
NHL Ref# 100000869
Location of the West Union Bridge in Indiana
Map of USA IN.svg
Location of Indiana in the United States

The West Union Covered Bridge is north-northeast of Montezuma, Indiana. The two-span Burr Arch Truss covered bridge structure was built by Joseph J. Daniels in 1876. It is notable for being the longest standing covered bridge in Parke County,[4][5] and one of the nation's best-preserved examples of the Burr truss.[6]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978[3] and was named a National Historic Landmark in 2016.[7]


The West Union Covered Bridge is the third bridge to stand at this location. The Star Mill Covered Bridge was the first and then the Harrison Covered Bridge replaced it but was damaged in 1876 prompting the West Union Covered Bridge to be built. The bridge was finished in September 1876. The road was originally part of the "Indiana State Highway", established with Legislature in 1827, which connected Fort Wayne with Terre Haute. Along with the Armiesburg Covered Bridge it hosted stage coach traffic to Lafayette.

Not much is left of West Union today, only a handful of houses. Gone are the school, post office, and the railroad. The Wabash Erie Canal ran just west of town with a feeder canal running south of Sugar Creek and connecting to the west of the bridge. The Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad crossed Sugar Creek to the east of the bridge and past West Union on the west side. Little is left of evidence of the railroad or the canal today. Farmers reclaimed the land and farm most of it today.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "West Union Covered Bridge (#26).". Parke County Convention & Visitors Commission. Retrieved 16 January 2015. 
  2. ^ http://www.indianacrossings.org/bridgeLinks/14-61-27.html
  3. ^ a b National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  4. ^ "West Union 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.  and Site map.
  6. ^ "Draft NHL nomination for West Union Bridge" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-03-08. 
  7. ^ "Weekly list of actions 2/16/17 to 3/2/17". National Park Service. Retrieved 2017-03-08. 

External links[edit]

External video
Fly-through of West Union Bridge, Spanning Sugar Creek, Montezuma, Indiana, HAER, September 10, 2014