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Covered Bridges of Northern Kentucky – Going Back in Time and Crossing the Creek

March 28th, 2022

In Northern Kentucky Tax Preparation is like anywhere else. In Northern Kentucky mowing the lawn is like anywhere else. In Northern Kentucky bookkeeping is like anywhere else. In Northern Kentucky taking out the garbage is like anywhere else. What isn’t like anywhere else are the Covered Bridges. Northern Kentucky has a long history of covered bridges crossing licks and creeks. Many of the beautiful bridges are gone, some turning to ashes, some falling away. But there are still several beautiful historic bridges worth visiting.

Outside of Grange City and Hillsboro on Kentucky near highway 111 sits the Grange City Bridge. It crosses Fox Creek in Fleming County. It was built between 1865 and 1870. It was closed in 1968 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The bridge is a brace and double post design, called a multiple King Post and Truss and runs 86′ long. Fox Creek has another covered bridge crossing it not far from the Grange City Bridge. It is the Ringo’s Mill Bridge. It is also a Multiple King Post Truss and runs 89′ in a single span. It is South East of Hillsboro off of Kentucky 158 and like the Grange City Bridge is closed to traffic.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, the Goddard “White” Bridge is one of the last known bridges that utilizes the architect Itheil Town’s Lattice design. It is a design that uses relatively small elements such as planks rather then the larger timbers. This allows for easier construction as individuals work with the planks. All the timbers are joined with wooden pegs. It is 63′ long. The date it was built remains uncertain, but the Itheil Town design was patented in 1820. The bridge is outside of Flemingsburg Kentucky off of KY32 and crosses Sand Lick Creek. The bridge is still open to traffic.

Built around 1870 the Cabin Creek Bridge crosses Cabin Creek and is located off of Kentucky 57 near Tollesboro. It is 114′ long and is made using a Burr Truss Design. The Burr Truss design is a combination of the Multiple King Post truss and the Arch design. Combing the two techniques created a bridge capable of bearing heavy loads. The bridge is closed to traffic. It has a tin roof and its design allows for a gap between the sides and the roof, letting light come into the tunnel of wood.

At one time there were over 400 wooden bridges in Kentucky. Many were lost during the civil war when soldiers from both sides would burn them down. Many were lost to neglect, or arson. Some were destroyed or so badly damaged by storms that they were taken down. The largest covered bridge in the world, the Butler Station Bridge was one of the storm destroyed bridges. It was 456 feet long and covered 3 spans. It was damaged in a rough storm in the 1930′s. Of those that do remain in Kentucky, several fine examples can be found in the northern part of the state.