Indiana is Home to the Covered Bridge Capital of the World
There's just something cool about seeing a covered bridge in person.
Covered Bridges in America
I was curious about the history of covered bridges, and why we seem to be fascinated with them, and it turns out there are some really interesting reasons why. Most of the covered bridges in America were built between 1820 and 1900 making most of them well over a century old.
So what was the purpose of covering the bridges? AncestralFindings.com says the reason these bridges were built in this manner in the first place, was to make the bridges last longer:
The covering on the bridge is designed to actually protect the bridge and extend its lifespan. This is because uncovered wooden bridges usually only last about twenty years before needing to be repaired or replaced, while covered wooden bridges can last as long as a century before any work needs to be done on them.
As with most things from the past, over the years we've seen the number of covered bridges in the United States dwindle down from 12,000 at one point to less than 1,000 standing today. You can read more about the fascinating history of covered bridges, here.
The Covered Bridge Capital of the World is in Indiana
With all of this talk about covered bridges, and the fact that the ones remaining seem to be fairly few and far between, that is certainly not the case for one county in Indiana. Parke County, Indiana is home to 31 covered bridges. With less than 1,000 left in the United States, the fact that 31 are located in one county in Indiana, is really impressive.
Of course, you can go and tour the covered bridges of Parke County, Indiana anytime, but Parke County is most known for the annual Covered Bridge Festival which takes place over 10 days every October.