Indiana county covered with the past

     (AAPNW-IN) – Colors of bright orange and rusty red, the succulent smell of apples and roasting marshmallows over an open fire have welcomed in the season of fall.  More people entertain their senses of the outdoors during this time of year than at any other.

     Long walks, outdoor shows and making new friends in the crisp, scenic air is what the Covered Bridge Festival in Parke County, Indiana, is all about.  If you are a photographer, painter or just an avid lover of beauty wanting to revel in the feeling of fall, this yearly Festival will be held October 10-17, is always a rare, memorable event.

     Thirty covered bridges dot the area and can be viewed and photographed on daily tours in the luxury of coach buses.  The Covered Bridge Art Gallery houses remarkable paintings done by local members of the Covered Bridge Art Association, offering scenic delights of the area.  

     If you ask why covered bridges were built during the mid 1800s and then disappeared soon after, the rumors start to flow.  Some will say that they kept the snow off of the bridge or protected the oiled planks from becoming slippery in the rain; others respond that the structures resembled barns so the farm animals would not fear crossing over the rapid, rushing water beneath their feet.

     Bridges were built after ferries became increasingly expensive for one to get from one side of the river to the other.  Turf wars and tolls forced residents to create an alternative route.  Wood was the only alternative as a building material since WW1 had required every scrap of steel that could be made.  Engineers felt that by building an enclosure over the treated wood, its life could be extended by three times.  After the war, steel replaced the wood and there was no longer a need for covering the bridges.

     But the memories of festive gatherings are still part of our heritage when these landmarks come to mind.  Many of these structures have been demolished as time has a way of washing away the past but have been kept alive through artists and photographers, their work highlighting this unforgettable era.

     Covered bridges, flowing rivers, colorful leaves, children playing, are all reminders of times past and present in this glorious season known as Fall. Parke County is special and they welcome you to come 365 days a year. Marked covered bridge routes, Billie Creek Village and the Rockville Square are always open. Stop by the Tourist Center three blocks east of the Rockville Square on Highway 36 for free maps and information, see  or call 765.569.5226 for a Parke County Visitors Guide.

Published by on September 2010. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, Travel. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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