The Narrows Covered Bridge crosses Sugar Creek at the eastern edge of Turkey Run State Park and is a single span Burr Arch Truss covered bridge structure that was built by Joseph A. Britton in 1882.
The Narrows Covered Bridge
|Crosses||Sugar Creek, Parke County, Indiana|
|Locale||Turkey Run State Park, Parke, Indiana, United States|
|Official name||The Narrows Covered Bridge|
|Named for||nearby "Narrows" on Sugar Creek.|
|Maintained by||State of Indiana Department of Natural Resources|
|Design||National Register of Historic Places|
|Total length||137 ft (42 m)121ft +8ft overhangs on each end|
|Width||16.5 ft (5.0 m)|
|Height||12.5 ft (3.8 m)|
|Constructed by||J. A. Britton|
|Construction cost||Original Cost $3,400|
|MPS||Parke County Covered Bridges TR|
|NRHP reference No.||78000404|
|Added to NRHP||Dec 22, 1978|
The Narrows Covered Bridge was built to replace the previous bridge that Salmon Lusk had built in 1847, which itself had been built to replace the bridge he'd built in 1840. The first bridge was destroyed in 1847 and the second in 1875.
The Parke County Commissioners didn't decide to replace the bridge for several years and by then iron bridges were becoming popular. Finally, on August 24, 1882, the first bids opened. These included: Smith Iron Works (iron, $6,680), Wrought Iron Bridge Co. (iron, $5,706), King Iron Bridge Co. (iron, $2,904), Columbia Bridge Works (iron, $3,288), G. F. Haynes (wood, $2,704), and J. A. Britton (wood, $3,750 total). Except for Mr. Britton's bid, the others may or may not include the cost for the abutments or other costs. At any rate, all of the bids were rejected.
J. A. Britton was later awarded the contract for $3,400. This bridge has been acclaimed as the first in J. A. Britton's illustrious covered bridge career. Some purists though have criticized the pointed arch joints and it can be noted that J. A. Britton built a Billie Creek Bridge in 1880, but it was probably an open bridge.
Joseph A. Britton's first wife died while he was working on the Narrows Bridge. He later met his second wife, who was living at a farm not far from the narrows, while working on the bridge.
- "Bridge Information".
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
- "Narrows Covered Bridge". Parke County Incorporated / Parke County Convention and Visitors Commission. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
- "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.
- Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) No. IN-49, "Narrows Bridge, Spanning Sugar Creek at Old County Road 280 East, Turkey Run State Park, Parke County, IN", 5 measured drawings