Covered bridges in Virginia
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In memory or imagination, covered bridges conjure up sights andsounds of days gone by. In Virginia, they began to dot the countryside nearly two centuries ago. Spanning rivers and streams, their number grew to the hundreds.
Eventually they gave way to their vulnerability to flood and fire, and to the technology that replaced the wooden peg with the metal bolt and the broadtimbers with narrow steel. By 1900, the overhead steel truss bridge had become the engineers' design of choice.
Relatively few covered bridges survived into the early years of the20th century. Most of them reflected the evolution in design of three pioneers in the annals of bridge construction:
- Theodore Burr, who patented the Burr arch bridge in 1817
- Ithiel Town, who patented the Town lattice design in 1835
- William Howe, who in 1840 patented a design that combined iron uprights with wooden supports
Today in Virginia, only eight covered bridges still stand. Five have been preserved as landmarks and three are on private property. You are invited to visit these picturesque structures that span time as well as water.
For more information about a bridge, an enlarged photo and directions to visit the site, click below. Also see a MAP showing bridge locations in the state.
Meem's Bottom Bridge (1894), North Fork of the Shenandoah River in Shenandoah County.
Bob White Bridge (1921), Smith River in Patrick County
Jack's Creek Bridge (1914), Smith River in Patrick County
Humpback Bridge (1857), James River in Alleghany County
Sinking Creek Bridge (circa 1916), Sinking Creek in Giles County
(PDF, 340 KB)
Go to the map.
Three bridges now are on private property:
- C.K. Reynolds Covered Bridge, Giles County.
- Biedler Farm Bridge, Rockingham County.
- Links Farm Bridge, Giles County.