No Destination: Johnson Creek Covered Bridge

Located just north of the Blue Licks State Park on KY-1029 in Robertson County, the Johnson Creek Covered Bridge once carried the state highway until it was closed to vehicular traffic in 1966. The Smith-truss design bridge was constructed in 1874 and spans 131 feet; it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

In the early 1910s, the bridge was overhauled by the Bower Bridge Company. The bridge was the target of a 1968 fire (arson); repairs were not made for four years. Today, however, the Johnson Creek Covered Bridge has just undergone a two-year renovation. The renovation was done by the Arnold M. Graton Company New Hampshire, a company that exclusively repairs and renovates historic bridges for preservation purposes. The Graton Company did a terrific job; the bridge is beautiful.

Note: Updated and Corrected on 22 Feb. 2010.


Robert W. M. Laughlin said…

It was very good to meet you today and I hope that you enjoy the book. I have just started looking over this site and I am impressed with what you have done; am enjoying the content.

One point that I would like to make here: Due to unfortunate placement of punctuation, the historic marker at Johnson Creek is misleading. Two separate events are listed out of chronology and seem to be related. "Partially destroyed by fire, rebuilt, 1910." does not refer to a fire in 1910. The "1910" rebuilding was a repair by the Bower Bridge Company (and in actuality it was 1912 or 1914) not unlike the recent restoration of the bridge. "Partially destroyed by fire" refers to the arson attempt in the 1960s. There was no documented fire on the bridge prior to 1966.

I agree completely, the Graton repairs are excellent. This bridge has most certainly gone from worst to first.

One other thing: Most of the markers list that covered bridges were first built in the 1700s (or something to that effect). Not true, at least not in the United States. The first DOCUMENTED covered bridge in the United States was built in Philadelphia in 1805.

Again, excellent work;

Walter Laughlin
Kentucky's Covered Bridges
Arcadia Publishing, 2007.