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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Matthews in Grant County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Cumberland Covered Bridge

 
 
Cumberland Covered Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 14, 2013
1. Cumberland Covered Bridge Marker
Click on the image to enlarge to view photos and figures
Inscription. The Cumberland Covered Bridge was built in 1877. During the Great Flood of 1913, it was washed downstream.

On March 26th 1913, the Mississinewa River floodwaters rose high enough (Fig. 2, 3) to push the Cumberland Covered Bridge from its abutments as local citizens watched helplessly. The bridge listed to a 70 degree angle on its way downstream, with the north end leading the way.

After drifting past the cemetery, it struck a large Sycamore tree on the embankment, causing it to turn 180 degrees - stopping at its final resting place on the south bank (Fig. 4) until the waters receded (Fig. 5). The old abutments stood empty (Fig. 6). Upon inspection, it was discovered that, while the bridge had lost some of its siding and roof, the 181 foot long Howe truss (framework) was still in sound structural condition.

After determining that it was salvageable, contractor George Leamon was hired to move the bridge back upstream to its original location. It was raised from the water and moved on wooden rollers to the road alongside the river. Horses and/or man operated capstans were used to move the bridge back down the road. A woman allowed the moving crew to cut a tree in her yard so the bridge could be turned around (Remember, the bridge is 181 feet long).

The old abutments were modified to raise the bridge
Cumberland Covered Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 14, 2013
2. Cumberland Covered Bridge Marker
At southeast end of bridge
16 inches higher and lock it into place, preventing future slide off.

A temporary "crib" was built in the river at the crossing site (Fig. 7) to support it as the bridge, cribbage and all, (Fig. 8, 9) was pulled to its original position by cable and capstan. It was lowered onto the raised abutments and then re-sided and re-roofed (Fig. 10).

The Cumberland Covered Bridge has survived subsequent floods (Fig. 11, 12 are examples) due, in large part, to the wisdom of raising and anchoring the bridge when it was rebuilt in 1913.
 
Erected 2011 by Matthews Covered Bridge Historical Society, Inc.
 
Location. 40° 23.297′ N, 85° 29.102′ W. Marker is in Matthews, Indiana, in Grant County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 3rd Street and Front Street, on the right when traveling north. Click for map. Marker is at southeast end of bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Matthews IN 46957, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Covered Bridge (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Village of Trask (approx. 3.1 miles away); Blackford County Revolutionary War Heroes (approx. 7.5 miles away); Blackford County Civil War Honor Roll
South End of Cumberland Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, March 14, 2013
3. South End of Cumberland Covered Bridge
(approx. 7.5 miles away); Blackford County Courthouse (approx. 7.6 miles away); Blackford County W.W. II Honor Roll (approx. 7.6 miles away); Blackford County Korea & Vietnam Honor Rolls (approx. 7.6 miles away); Blackford County W.W. I Honor Roll (approx. 7.6 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Matthews.
 
Categories. Bridges & Viaducts
 
Cumberland Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, April 25, 2008
4. Cumberland Covered Bridge
Historic Placard on Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, April 25, 2008
5. Historic Placard on Bridge
This Covered Bridge, Built 1877- 181 Ft. Long, Called Cumberland Bridge for Old Town. The 1913 flood carried the bridge downstream. It was returned on rollers to the old foundation and raised 3 feet. The 1958 flood threatened but only succeeded in loosening some of the weatherboarding. Restored 1999
Howe Truss with Steel vertical rods image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, April 25, 2008
6. Howe Truss with Steel vertical rods
National Register Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, April 25, 2008
7. National Register Plaque
This Property has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior
Dedication marker image. Click for full size.
By Christopher Light, April 25, 2008
8. Dedication marker
with special thanks to Larry barnett for his perseverance and dedication to the restoration of the Cumberland Covered Bridge, Sept 10, 1999
Covered Bridge Historical Society, Grant County Commissioners, Grand Co. Highway Department
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 444 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   2, 3. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.   4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Christopher Light of Valparaiso, Indiana. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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