03 August 2009

Humpback Bridge-Covington, Virginia-That's My World

Saturday morning hubby and I took off for the Covington/Lake Moomaw area to look at properties. Of course, I always have side trips planned once the business portion of the day is completed. So, Saturday's trip included a visit to the Humpback Bridge. We definitely were not disappointed in this excursion. We will be returning come Fall for a picnic in the Park.
The Humpback Bridge is located three miles west of Covington, Virginia. It can be reached by traveling on US 64 and exiting at exit 10. The bridge was built for the old James River and Kanawha Turnpike Company. It is located on its original location. There are five acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, restrooms and picnic tables alongside Dunlap Creek.

It is the only single span 100 foot wooden arched covered bridge in Virginia and maybe in the United States. The Humpback Bridge is unique as far as bridge designs. It has its original hand-hewn timbers which are put together with hand-made locust pins. The span is 120 feet long, with abutments placed 100 feet apart, with no middle support. The center of the floor and roof is about four feet higher than at the ends, thus giving the humped appearance from whence it was named. It is the only bridge of its design in the United States.
The bridge served many a traveler until 1929, when it was abandoned for traffic with the completion of the Midland Trail.
The bridge was restored by the State Highway Department in 1954 which matched a $5,000 fund raised locally by the Covington Business and Professional Women's Club.
Unfortunately, teenagers have decided to adorn the interior of the bridge with graffiti.

In this shot you can see the bowed/humpback effect.



Humpback Covered Bridge Chronology
(as recorded at the National Register for Historic Places):

1784 - George Washington tours the Alleghany region and reports to the Virginia Assembly the necessity of constructing a system of canals and turnpikes to open trade and communication with the west
1785 – James River Company incorporated
1816 – Virginia Board of Public Works established
1820 – Virginia General Assembly passes an act making the James River Company a state-operated venture and authorizes construction of a 208-mile road from the mouth of Dunlap Creek to the great falls of the Kanawha River
1824 – Three bridges were constructed on Dunlap Creek west of Covington, VA
1837 – Flood destroys all three bridges on Dunlap Creek and they are subsequently rebuilt
1842 – Flood destroys all bridges on the turnpike between Covington, VA and Lewisburg, WV and they are subsequently rebuilt
1849 – Upper Dunlap Creek Bridge rebuilt
1850 – Middle Dunlap Creek Bridge rebuilt
1856 – Flood destroys Lower Dunlap Creek Bridge
1857 – Present Humpback Covered Bridge built
1929 – Humpback Covered Bridge bypassed
1953 – Covington Business & Professional Women’s Club raises money for repairs and preservation of Humpback Covered Bridge
1954 – Humpback Covered Bridge restored and surrounding land developed as a public park
1969 – Humpback Covered Bridge designated a Virginia Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Be sure to stop by our wonderful That's My World meme. We had over 100 participants last week. I personally enjoy visiting other blogs from around the world. Enjoy.

56 comments:

JC said...

That's a nice bridge ...
Sounds like you had a fantastic day trip ...

Barb said...

Beautiful shots, Erin. The first and last are my favorites - I also like the effect taken of the inside - you can really see the "humpback!"

Daryl said...

It really does look like a humpback whale ... what a fascinating history, so did you find anything worth buying?

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Fabulous post and photos.... Ya done good, girl!

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Gaelyn said...

What a great covered bridge. I've seen a few, much shorter, in Oregon. Love the shape. Great info, captures and post Erin.

Dirk said...

Lovely bridge, typically for your country, doesn't exist in Belgium. Pitty about the graffiti

Sylvia K said...

What an incredibly gorgeous place! And your captures are superb! Thanks for the interesting history as well, I love it! Would love to visit there someday.

Have a great week, Erin!

Sylvia

Photo Cache said...

That's a pretty nice bridge. I think that's a lovely spot for a wedding don't you think?

I'm also at http://ewok1993.wordpress.com

Having a hard time accepting open id.

James said...

I just recently saw my first coverd bridge and I hear that there are several more around. After seeing your wonderful pictures I feel inspired to go take some for myself.
Great stuff!

imac said...

Interesting Bridge and its history.
Just my thought, it would be nice to be able to see the river as you cross, instead of all boarded up.

Thanks for your kind comments and your visit.

Marites said...

very beautiful shots! I remember the movie, Bridges of Madison Country. It's sad to know that people vandalize it. I hope they'll treat it better. It's already a heritage. My world is here

Reader Wil said...

It's great that the bridge was restored, but a pity that teenagers spoiled it with graffiti. What can be done about that? We have the same teenagers over here.

Ackworth born said...

Fascinating bridge - shame about the graffitti - not what I expected when I noticed the title before clicking through - hump-packed bridges in the UK are an entirely different beast - we don't have covered bridges but I'm getting used to seeing them on blogs - this is probably one of the most interesting I've seen.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

What a sacrilege! Lock them up and throw away the key! Darn graffitti on such a beautiful, historic, one-of-a-kind unique bridge.
I don't think I have ever seen a more unique and lovely bridge ever!

And you captured it beautifully, my friend. Truly.

I hope one day I can see it for myself. Enjoy that picnic when you return, Erin.

Your friend,
~Lisa

Pam said...

Isn't it amazing the thought that went into building this wonderful old covered bridge. Your photos show so much detail with all the different views you took.
Its a shame it has been defaced like that.

Martha Z said...

Beautiful pohtos and informative post. There is such variety in covered bridges they are fun to see.

Ishtar said...

What a beautiful corner of the world!!

Irene Toh said...

What a unique bridge..humpback..great name

A New England Life said...

Beautiful bridge, though its too bad about the graffiti. I don't understand why kids do that stuff. I guess it's like follow the leader, one does it so everyone else follows.

We have many covered bridges in NH but I can't say I've seen any with a Humpback. Very unusual. Whats interesting is that they all seem to be built differently.

Hope you enjoyed your photo shoot. I know I would have!

Sharon

SandyCarlson said...

That is without a doubt one of the most interesting covered bridges I have ever seen. The graffiti is a real bummer and a shock to the system considering the peace and grace on the outside of the bridge.

sixstars said...

Very interesting post. It looks like a great picnic spot on a summer day and nicely photographed.

Arija said...

A wonderful bridge , a hiltorical landmark and yet vandalised out of recognition. I can no longer understand today's youth.They have neither sence of heritage nor plain sense.

Ebie said...

This is my main blog.
The first shot reminds me of Clint Eastwood's Bridges of Madison County.
P.S. I saw on your side bar, about kitchen towels, do you collect them?
And the Museum is doing renovation.

uncleawang said...

Interesting post indeed,I entered a wold i know very little about..I'm glad to stopped by :)
Have a nice day.

Lew said...

Beautiful bridge and spot to visit! And superb photos! Here is a link to other Virginia covered bridges: http://www.ohiobarns.com/covbri/va/vacb.html

Les said...

I hope there is a special corner of hell set aside for people who graffitti, especially on gems such as this.

ramosforestenvironment.com said...

Love wooden covered bridge as I´ve seen it on "Madison´s Bridge" movie.
(Is movie title correct?!).
Your bridge is the best one for its arched structure.
Luiz Ramos

Vamsee Modugula said...

Beautiful bridge and I loved reading about it. I also like the soft effect you use in your pictures.

Rajesh said...

Wonderful post. Loved the snaps and the way you have covered the history of the bridge. It is nice to see that such a old wooden bridge is still in good condition.

Indrani said...

Great shots with the post. Yes indeed a humpback whale.

3c said...

This is so very interesting - and beautiful!

I'm not usually bothered by grafitti but it does appear to spoil the atmosphere of the bridge which seems, from your photographs, to be very tranquil.

Why were so few bridges built like this? Why were they built like this at all? Didn't they have trouble with people wanting to loiter there when it rained? Or was that the point?

ladyfi said...

I just adore that bridge! Gorgeous lines - shame about the graffiti.

Jenn Jilks said...

Thanks for visiting My Muskoka!
I love your world.

Jenn Jilks said...

Great shots. Thanks for visiting My Muskoka.

Jo said...

Hi Erin;) I've never seen anything as interesting and quaint as this bridge. Amazing. Thanks for posting such an interesting post. Thanks for visiting my blog. I've added myself as a follower so that I can keep up with this blog of yours as well. Glad you had a good day out.

Gill - That British Woman said...

You know Erin, you are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.....

Gill in Canada

The Whispering Poppies said...

What a STUNNING covered bridge!

Thank you, Erin, for your kind words on my blog today! I really appreciate them!

Sally in WA said...

That's a beautiful bridge, at least on the exterior. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Gattina said...

Very interesting and what a lovely place. It's a pity that these graffities is a world wide plague ! Even the outside wall of Julia and Romeo's house in Verona is full of them !

chrome3d said...

Sorry about the graffiti but other than that it was so beautiful structure that it´s hard to believe. Thanks for the most thorough tour around it that one can hope for.

zeal4adventure said...

Beautifully captured. The vandalizing is unfortunate. Thanks for the history. :-)

Annie said...

Very interesting post and bridge! Thank you. And thanks also for visiting my New Farm Park post.

Ann said...

Very unusual bridge. I recall some one blogged this too.

In some places, the bridge will be locked up at night to prevent vagabonds from sleeping there, and graffiti taggers.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Sailor Girl said...

THANK YOU for your nice comment!
By the way... I simply LOVE your template, with all those ancient ships!!!!!!

Mental P Mama said...

Oh that is beautiful. Graffiti and all...

Lisa said...

Oh cool. We go through Covington on our way to visit my folks in WV. We'll have to take a little excursion next time. Thanks!

Claudie said...

I thought it was the famous bridge from the movie....wait for it...Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep...wait for it..darn it's the name of the bridge. Ok sorry just lost it. I'm sure you know what I mean.
Happy OW
Love Claudie

diane said...

What an interesting post. It is an unusual bridge. Everything is so green in your world.

Carver said...

Those are gorgeous shots. I love covered bridges!

Country Girl said...

These are beautiful photographs of this historic bridge. Simply breatheaking!

Baruch said...

Such a wonderful photo essay - the humpback bridge has some great history and you have captured it so well - love the soft focus in your photo - add to the nostalgia

Kathiesbirds said...

What a beautiful place that seems lost in time. I almost expected to see a horse and buggy or a covered wagon roll out the end!

Elisabeth's bright side said...

That was interesting. It's nice to see that great bridge from several views. It really has personality and history.
Have great weekend!

Rocky Mountain Retreat said...

What a cool bridge and I love that structure of humpback... super nifty. How neat it would be to see that in person!! It looks like such a beautiful area.

The Tile Lady said...

Fantastic My World entry! I adore this wonderful bridge and am so glad it has been so beautifully preserved (except of course for the graffiti!) It's a wonderful piece of history, and I thank you for sharing!
Marie

diane said...

You live in the most picturesque part of the world. Thank you for taking me on a tour of Natural Bridge. Just lovely.