Skip to Content

Existing Covered Bridges in Tennessee-Parks Covered Bridge

Obion County Bridge  
Parks-Trimble Bridge

1987 view of the Parks Covered Bridge
Location Map for the Parks Bridge

 
1969 photos from TDEC  Photograph Collection, Tennessee State Library and Archives, Nashville.
Drawing/dimensions of Parks Bridge

Of Tennessee's four historic covered bridges, the Parks Covered Bridge is the only one in the western portion of the state. The Parks Covered Bridge is situated in south central Obion County, approximately 20 miles from Union City, the county seat. Originally, it was located between U.S. 51 (State Route 3 to the west) and State Route 211 (to the east) just north of the Dyer-Gibson County line (Trimble Quad, 428 NW), about one mile north of Trimble. Until 1997, it was located on private property and not open to the public, and the bridge spanned the Obion River Drainage Canal. In 1997, due to erosion at the original site that had endangered the historic bridge, the community salvaged as much material as possible and rebuilt the bridge in a city park, Parks Plaza, in nearby Trimble.

According to Mr. Hamilton Parks of Trimble, his grandfather Emerson E. Parks built this bridge in about 1904. The Parks or Trimble Covered Bridge, originally spanned a drainage ditch dividing two fields on Parks' farm. Although the bridge's primary purpose was agricultural, local traffic used it until 1928, when the highway department built a state route with a modern bridge nearby. The bridge remained on the Trimble farm until its relocation in 1997.

The bridge originally contained a 28-foot Kingpost truss and two approach spans, 15 and 16 feet long. Tin covered the diagonal lateral bracing that was extended outward from the center of the truss. The curb-to-curb width was 11.4 feet, and the out-to-out width was 12.4 feet (plus bracing). Weatherboarding covered the 10-foot high bridge, which had an open area at the eaves for light and ventilation. A gable roof initially covered the bridge, but a tornado destroyed the original roof in 1914. After the tornado, Mr. Parks replaced the gable roof with a flat shed roof. The Parks Covered Bridge is the only known Kingpost truss covered bridge in the state. After its 1997 relocation, it still retains its original Kingspost truss, but is covered in weatherboarding and a gable roof.