Date: April, 2016
Location: Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Ohio, USA
Everett Covered Bridge, which crosses Furnace Run, is the only remaining covered bridge in Summit County. But in the 19th century, it was one of over 2,000 in Ohio, the state that led the nation in covered-bridge construction.
The bridge played an important role in the 19th-century transportation system. Local histories emphasize the role of the Ohio & Erie Canal. With the canal, farmers could ship products to Cleveland and beyond. But to get to the canal and other local destinations, people needed functional roads.
Covered bridges are truss bridges with support coming from a framework of beams and were built to protect the wooden floor of the bridge. The builders of Everett Covered Bridge used a truss pattern patented by Robert W. Smith of Tipp City, Ohio, in 1867. The popularity of covered bridges waned in the 1880s with the appearance of more durable iron bridges like the one seen at the Station Road Bridge Trailhead.
Everett Covered Bridge was repaired at least twice after major damage, first caused by the 1913 flood and then by a truck in 1970. Then in 1975, rushing water from a spring storm lifted the bridge from its sandstone abutments and deposited the wreckage into the steam bed below. Local citizens, rallied by Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association, began raising funds to rebuild the bridge. School children, local citizens, private organization, and governmental agencies all joined hands to secure funds for the historically accurate reconstruction, completed by the National Park Service in 1986.