Shieldstown Covered Bridge formally opened


The Shieldstown Covered Bridge was formally opened to visitors last week with a ribbon cutting by county officials.

The $1,063,837.65 restoration project started in 2015 and was paid for through a grant.

The county was responsible for 20% of the cost, and the Federal Highway Administration covered the rest.

The 355-foot-long Burr arch truss wooden bridge, built by Joseph J. Daniels in 1876, carried vehicular traffic across the East Fork White River until 1980. The bridge is just off of County Road 200N in Hamilton Township.

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Daniels also built the Medora Covered Bridge in Carr Township. That renovation was completed in 2011.

Indiana Sen. Eric Koch, who represents portions of Jackson County, attended the ribbon cutting. County officials said Koch was key to helping progress the project when there were issues with contractors and the Indiana Department of Transportation.

Koch said the project helped preserve important parts of the state’s history.

"It means a lot to the state, and I think it is vital that we continue to make an effort to preserve our history and assets," he said. "It was great leadership at the local level that led the way. I’m just glad the state could help support these efforts."

Koch also credited local officials who place value on historic sites.

"I think it says a lot about Jackson County and the value they place on assets like this one," he said. "A lot of effort and energy went into this from a lot of different people, and the culmination is a successful project that will be enjoyed for literally hundreds of years."

Arann Banks, executive director of the Jackson County Visitor Center, said the project adds to the county’s historic landscape and other features it has become known for throughout the years.

"People want to see where we came from and how we did things before the modern conveniences of today," she said.

Banks said the area is rich with a lot of history. At one time, a mill operated in the area, and some of the most prominent farmers in the county lived in the surrounding parts. Those farmers pooled their money together to construct the bridge, she said.

Banks said she also is hopeful local volunteers will be dedicated in the same way that people in Medora have been for the bridge there.

"We’re blessed to have the group at Medora Covered Bridge, and I would love to see that happen here," she said.

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