The Covered Bridge

Built in 1882, the Covered Bridge is believed to be the oldest such bridge in the state that is still in use. Constructed at a cost of $3,000.00 by contractor Dr. E. E. Hunter, George Lindamood and three carpenters, it spans the river for 134 feet, resting on earth and limestone abutments. Colonel Thomas Matson, who had engineered the elevated railroad tracks in New York City, designed the bridge and served as construction chief. The original structure was made almost entirely of wood; mainly mountain oak and white pine beams that were hauled down the steep slopes of the mountains by draft horses and mules, weatherboard of mountain poplar, and shingles cleaved by mallet and froe from chestnut. Hand-forged steel spikes and hand threaded bolts fastened together with the massive pieces of oak flooring. Termed an “engineering feat,” and listed in the Historic Engineering Record, the Covered Bridge survived numerous floods, including the great May flood of 1901, which destroyed all the other bridges in the county that crossed the Doe River. It is one of two bridges in TN identified by a Tennessee historical marker and is included on the National Registry of Historic Sites. The current condition is great and is kept up by the city.