Melcher Covered Bridge

Melcher Covered Bridge
Klondyke Bridge, Marion Bridge, and Leatherwood Bridge
National Register of Historic Places
Official name: Melcher Covered Bridge
Named for: Melcher Railroad Station
Country  United States
State  Indiana
County Parke
Township Reserve
Road Strawberry Road
Crosses Leatherwood Creek, Indiana
Coordinates 39°47′20.76″N 87°20′6.35″W / 39.7891000°N 87.3350972°W / 39.7891000; -87.3350972Coordinates: 39°47′20.76″N 87°20′6.35″W / 39.7891000°N 87.3350972°W / 39.7891000; -87.3350972
Length 97 ft (30 m) 83ft +7ft overhangs on each end
Width 16 ft (5 m) [1]
Clearance 12.5 ft (4 m)
Builder Daniels, J.J.
Design Burr Arch truss single-span bridge
Material Wood
Built 1896
 - Rebuilt 1977
Owned and Maintained by Parke County
NBI Number 6100140[2]
WGCB Number #14-61-26 [3]
Added to NRHP Dec 22, 1978
NRHP Ref# 78000402 [4]
MPS Parke County Covered Bridges TR
Location of the Melcher Bridge in Indiana
Location of Indiana in the United States

The Melcher Covered Bridge, also known as the "Klondyke Covered Bridge", "Marion Covered Bridge", or the "Leatherwood Covered Bridge" crosses Leatherwood Creek east of Montezuma, Indiana, and is a single-span Burr Arch Truss covered bridge structure that was built by Joseph J. Daniels in 1896.[1][5]

It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.[4]


The name "Melcher Covered Bridge" comes from the nearby Melcher Station which was originally on the Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railway (1846–1917). The CH&D and the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad crossed just west of the bridge.[6]

The name "Marion Covered Bridge" comes from the Marion Brick Company which was south and west of the bridge. The bridge may have been built to provide road access to Montezuma located two miles west.[3]

The name "Klondyke Covered Bridge" comes from the nearby community of Klondyke, named after the Klondike Gold Rush, but in this case it was clay for bricks.[1][6]

The name "Leatherwood Covered Bridge" was used but would cause confusion with Leatherwood Station Covered Bridge and Leatherwood Ford.[1][3]

While the bridge was built by J.J. Daniels the portals no longer have his trademark portal arches. The portals have been modified to closer resemble those built by William Hendricks and Joseph A. Britton on their shorter bridges.[1][3]

The original shale of the shale and hewn limestone abutments, which matches stone in the creek, has crumbled so cement was poured around the original stone.[1]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Melcher Covered Bridge (#24)". Parke County Incorporated / Parke County Convention and Visitors Commission. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  3. 1 2 3 4
  4. 1 2 National Park Service (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  5. "Indiana State Historic Architectural and Archaeological Research Database (SHAARD)" (Searchable database). Department of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. Retrieved 2016-06-01. Note: This includes Charles Felkner (December 1977). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory Nomination Form: Parke County Covered Bridge Historic District" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-06-01. and Site map.
  6. 1 2
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