The covered bridges of Union County, Ohio

Here are a few photos of the covered bridges of Union County, Ohio. We had a day to ourselves and decided to tour the countryside after finding a brochure at our motel on these covered bridges in a nearby county.


It took us a while to get our bearings and we quickly learned that a GPS is not very helpful for locating bridges. We stopped at a service station to ask for directions and I could not help but notice that they had a fantastic deli with great looking sandwiches and pizza. We got directions from a very helpful lady, got some sandwiches and headed toward the first bridge, which was just a few miles away. We had a picnic in the back of the car.

The bridges were all built in the late 1800s with the exception of a few. All were marked with plaques that explained the history and cost of the bridge and information about the men who built them.


I wondered why bridges were covered in the first place? I thought maybe it was to keep horses from being frightened about stepping across a platform over open water. Michael thought that maybe they served as protection for travelers in the case of storms or rain. Well, it turns out we were both wrong. According to an Internet search, the answer is obvious and simple - covering the bridges protected them from rotting. An uncovered bridge might last about ten years whereas a covered one can last for centuries.







The "Big Darby Creek" bridge (below) was built in 2006 and was the largest of all of them. I don't know why a new covered bridge was built - it would be interesting the know the story behind it.






Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy