These days, covered bridges are considered great
historical pieces or architecture that are protected
and preserved under the United States Law. There are
at least 200 covered bridges across America. Most of
them, especially the ones under the management and
protection of the National Registry of Historic
Places, were built in the early nineteenth century.

During that time, there was a huge movement of people
from coastal cities towards the interior of the
country where there were a lot of creeks, streams and
rivers. Towns and villages soon rose near these
waterways since they were the practical places for
thriving communities. The waterways also provided
power for their mills and a ready source of potable
water, which are very important for growing towns.

As these towns grew on both sides of the river, there
was an apparent need for bridges to connect the
townspeople together and provide access to important
infrastructures like schools, churches, and hospices


As these towns
grew on both sides of the river, there
was an apparent need for bridges to connect the
townspeople together and provide access to important
infrastructures like schools, churches, and hospices.
Covered bridges then became the most practical
solution for connecting both sides of the river, thus
paving the way for growth and development.

But why cover these bridges? Was there a need?
Apparently yes, and there were lots of proposed
reasons why covered bridges became the norm during the
time. It is widely said that necessity is the mother
of innovation, and the walls and roofs of these
bridges did serve a very practical purpose far from
the aesthetics that most people appreciate nowadays.
The first reason for covering these bridges were to
make them appear like barns.

In the old days, crossing horses and farm animals on
bridges were more dangerous than it would seem


In the old
days, crossing horses and farm animals on
bridges were more dangerous than it would seem.
Stampedes were common when horses and livestock were
forced to cross bridges and see the running waters of
the river. To avoid this, covering bridges made it
easier for farmers and animals to cross rivers and get
to the greener grass on the other side.

Another reason for building these bridges were to keep
snow off them during winter. Heavy snow fall could
spell disaster for small bridges with weaker support.
Another practical reason for making covered bridges
was to help accommodate travelers during bad weather.
Old covered bridges can shelter a small group stuck in
town because of a storm. It also made it easier for
townspeople to accommodate strangers during such
times.

A romantic reason proposed by an old poet said the
covered bridges also made it possible for young lovers
to steal a kiss from each other without getting caught
– rather unlikely but ironically, covered bridges
nowadays do serve a romantic purpose because it has
become quite fashionable to hold wedding ceremonies on
them


A romantic reason
proposed by an old poet said the
covered bridges also made it possible for young lovers
to steal a kiss from each other without getting caught
– rather unlikely but ironically, covered bridges
nowadays do serve a romantic purpose because it has
become quite fashionable to hold wedding ceremonies on
them. But the most widely popular reason for building
covered bridges is to expand the lifespan of the
bridge itself.

Wood, which is commonly used for these bridges, can
easily deteriorate if exposed to harsh weather
conditions all year round – heat in the summer and
extreme cold in the winter. Covered bridges lasted
three times longer than ordinary bridges because of
the protection the roof and walls provided. Insulation
was also good for wood and covered bridges allowed the
interior to maintain a uniform temperature providing
shade from the sun and rain – which made the bridge
last longer and practically safer for people to use.

No matter what the reason, covered bridges are
considered by many as romantic, historical pieces that
should be preserved and protected


No matter what
the reason, covered bridges are
considered by many as romantic, historical pieces that
should be preserved and protected. They are part of
America�s history and protecting them should be a
priority for towns and counties where they can still
be found.