Frame is finished
As you can see the bridge is almost finished. The last piece of the arch was put in on Friday. The big jobs left are the siding and the roof. We didn’t have enough $$$$$ for the hand split shake roof so we are going with a metal roof. A lot of folks wanted a metal roof because it doesn’t leak like a wood shake roof and it is maintenance free for many years.
The History Class from Turkey Run High School came and helped with staining the siding. They worked 2 days and painted all the batten strips. (The siding is called Board and Batten – The siding is 12 inches wide and is verticle on the bridge. There is a small 3 inch board that covers the gap between the 12 in. boards and it is called the batten) We decided to use solid color stain instead of paint because it does not peel like paint. The paint on the old bridge was always peeling. If you look close you can see the kids have a lot of paint on them. They were haveing a lot of fun and painted each other along with the boards.
This is the first time I have seen the blog. Didn’t know it existed. I am one of thousands who loved the old bridge and considered it the most beautiful covered bridge in the world. My heart was broken when I saw the fire on TV. Reading this blog, my eyes are filled with tears again, but with gratitude and admiration for the love and toil that has gone into putting a bridge over the creek at Bridgeton again. God Bless you, Mike, and all of your wonderful, hard-working friends!
My husband & I were there October 14th 2006. The bridge is absolutely beautiful! As I walked through the mill I saw postcards of the bridge as it was burning. I was shedding tears. What a shame! Anyway, the new one is very nice!!!! The Wisehart’s
Do not cry about the burning this way we have been able to see the value in maintaining our history for future generations. I hope to see the mill and bridge soon in 2007. I will walk fast past the burning bridge postcards. Thanks for great information.
I have visited the Bridge site and met one of My 2nd cousins there! Purchased some grain and took it home to Florida, My second home. Was born near Sandford Indiana
My 3G-Grandfather, James Kerr, lived in Bridgeton in it’s earliest days. He was a farmer with a fine farm in the Racoon bottoms area.
James Kerr left his birthplace in VA and removed to Bridgeton, IN sometime before 1826. All the children by his second wife, Mary Hartman, were born in Bridgeton, as were many of their grandchildren.
(note: I descend from their daughter Virginia, who, married John H. Williams at Bridgeton, Indiana, on 30 Oct 1856. . They moved with their family, from Indiana to Clinton, Illinois in 1867. From Illinois they moved to Beloit, Kansas in 1881 and in 1884 they came to Nebraska and established their home north east of Wood River and lived the remaining years of their lives, farming, in Hall County.
In 1899, his son, James H. Kerr, purchased a home on Main Street, built shortly after 1862, by Ralph Sprague, one of the Bridgeton Mill’s early owners.
George and James Kerr, sons of James H. Kerr, opened Kerr Brothers general store in 1901. Charles Peffley took it over in 1944 and it was named Peffley’s Market. It was later named the Bridgeton Country Store.
Are the house and country store still in use today?
Are there any other historical sketches of any of the Kerr’s or any Kerr descendants still living in the Bridgeton area to your knowledge.
I would love to visit Bridgeton and see the homeplace of my family ancestors and possibly meed some Kerr cousins .
If you go to bridgetonindiana.com you can see photos of the old buildings in downtown Bridgeton. I believe the 1878 House and the Country Store arte the ones you mentioned. There is a book about Bridgeton – The Story of Bridgeton – It tells the history of the town and might have your family in it. I have the book at the mill, it is $25.99 plus shipping.
Are you sure that James Kerr was from Virginia? It is my understanding from the James H. Kerr biography that James was born to Thomas Kerr and Mary Young in Westmoreland County, PA. They migrated to Mason County, Ky when James was a child. He first married Sarah Merrill in Kentucky. They moved to Parke County in 1822. Sarah Merrill died in 1824 after having 3 children (listed in the biography) James Kerr then married Mary Hartman , who did come from Rockingham County, VA. They had 9 children. I am descended from James and Mary Hartman’s son, J.H. Kerr and Mary Nichols. My grandfather was their son, James who farmed near Bridgeton and was married to Lucy Martin Crooks.
This is in reply to the message of Steve Betts.
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This is so exciting. I think a metal roof works great. So happy for you guys. Working with metal is tough, I know from collision repair Hamilton and seeing what it cost for a new car hood.