Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

George W. Geib


Today, covered wooden highway bridges stand as a reminder of a bygone era in American history. When traveling the lesser known roads of Indiana one may encounter just such a monument to the past. Too many times these historical artifacts are marred by the ravages of time and the destructiveness of vandalism. Yet many of the few remaining structures are now being preserved as historical landmarks by such organizations as local covered bridge societies and various parks departments. Although it is costly to keep these bridges in sound structural condition, it is indeed worthwhile to attempt this preservation of American history in order that we may view firsthand their design and utility. This will lead us to an understanding and appreciation of the bridge builders of Indiana in their successful efforts to cause form to follow function in overcoming the topographical adversities of the natural landscape. Within the following pages, the reader will find the history of covered bridges in Indiana, what the bridges are constructed of and why. Various types of covered bridge structures are examined as there are many diversified styles. Also, this paper looks at the bridge builders from Indiana and the surrounding areas. Finally, this paper examines what is being done today to preserve these historical artifacts.

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