James K. Polk Building, Suite 900
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0334
Martha Carver, Manager
Covered bridges create a charm and mystique that attracts the old and young alike. While the building tradition has long become obsolete, people continue to build covered bridges for their aesthetic appeal, some using truss systems and some simply covering a slab bridge.
For example, in 1959 the state erected a covered bridge in the Davy Crockett State Park in Lawrenceburg in Lawrence County. The bridge spanned the stream flowing from the reconstructed dam and mill at the park. After the bridge washed away in 1998, the state rebuilt it in April 1999. One of the newest "old" covered bridges in Tennessee and already an appealing part of the landscape, with time, bridges such as this one will become historic.
It is unknown how many covered bridges were built in Tennessee. However by the mid-1940s, roughly one dozen remained(source: Ursula Smith Beach; Tennessee Historical Quarterly, 1969). By 1969, only six remained - the 1882 Elizabethton Bridge in Carter County, the 1875 Harrisburg Bridge in Sevier County, the circa 1870s Winona or Paint Rock Creek Bridge in Scott County, the 1910 Parks Covered Bridge in Obion County, and the 1904 Port Royal Bridge in Montgomery County. Since then, a storm destroyed the historic Port Royal Bridge, and in the 1970s, the state reconstructed a replica that a storm has since destroyed. Around 1980, the Paint Rock Creek Bridge was destroyed.