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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Medora in Jackson County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Medora Covered Bridge

 
 
Medora Covered Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 22, 2014
1. Medora Covered Bridge Marker
Inscription.

The Medora Bridge

The Medora Covered Bridge was built in 1875 by noted timber bridge builder J.J. Daniels. It was built to carry local traffic across the East Fork of the White River forty years before there was a state highway system. In the early twentieth century, route US 50 crossed the river here, using this bridge. Later, and until 1972, State Road 235 crossed the river on this structure.

This bridge is the longest historic covered bridge in the nation. Its span between the abutment faces is 431 feet. Shed extensions for weather protection extend 16 feet on each end beyond the actual bridge span. The Medora Bridge is also the last remaining three-span covered bridge in Indiana.

The bridge is classified as a Burr Arch truss, which combines timber arches with a stiffening truss. This is a sophisticated structural system in which the arches greatly strengthen the truss, and the truss keeps the arches in their proper curve. Daniels used oak for the bottom truss members, for the vertical posts, and for the deck. He used yellow poplar wood for the rest of the structure. You can see marks of hand-hewing on some of the top truss members. Wrought iron bolts and the rods clamp the many pieces together.

The Builder

Joseph J. Daniels was born in SE Ohio in 1826.
Medora Covered Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 22, 2014
2. Medora Covered Bridge Marker
Marker is located at the southwest corner of the bridge
His father, Stephen Daniels, was a prominent carpenter and bridge builder, and an agent of the pioneering bridge engineer Stephen Long. J.J. assisted his father and learned well as a young man.

At age twenty, the younger Daniels began to take bridge commissions on his own. Between 1847 and 1852 J.J. built several bridges in Ohio. In 1853 he built a notable 600-foot long covered bridge over the White River near Hazelton, IN. In 1861 Daniels moved to Parke County and went into business for himself. He built the 207-foot span Jackson Bridge in that year. Fourteen years later he designed and built the Medora Bridge.

Daniels came to prefer the Burr Arch truss style, and usually built that except when required to use a different type. The robustness of his designs were much respected, and many people considered him the best covered bridge builder in the state. More than 53 covered bridges are known to have been built by Daniels.
 
Location. 38° 49.11′ N, 86° 8.882′ W. Marker is near Medora, Indiana, in Jackson County. Marker can be reached from State Road 235. Click for map. Marker is accessible from a park along the White River approximately one mile east of the town of Medora. Marker is in this post office area: Medora IN 47260, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles
Medora Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 22, 2014
3. Medora Covered Bridge
East end of bridge
of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Medora Shale Brick Plant (approx. 1.3 miles away); Driftwood Church and Cemetery (approx. 2.9 miles away); Bartholomew Trail (approx. 3.2 miles away); Site of Fort Vallonia (approx. 3.2 miles away); Fort Vallonia (approx. 3.8 miles away); In Memory of Col. John Ketcham / Time Capsule (approx. 7 miles away); All Veterans Honor Roll Memorial (approx. 7.1 miles away); Jackson County W.W. I Veterans Memorial (approx. 7.1 miles away).
 
Regarding Medora Covered Bridge. The marker states the 2010 rehabilitation was funded by the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program and Jackson County and lists the County officials and engineer and contractor for the project.
 
Also see . . .  Medora Covered Bridge. Official website of the Medora Covered Bridge restoration. (Submitted on May 28, 2014.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRoads & Vehicles
 
Interior of Medora Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 22, 2014
4. Interior of Medora Covered Bridge
View to the west
Medora Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 22, 2014
5. Medora Covered Bridge
West end of bridge
Medora Covered Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 22, 2014
6. Medora Covered Bridge
View of spans and northern exterior of bridge
Medora Covered Bridge and the<br>East Fork of the White River image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, May 22, 2014
7. Medora Covered Bridge and the
East Fork of the White River
Marker is visible at the right corner of the bridge
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 305 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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