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My husband and I didn’t set out in search of covered bridges in Sevierville, but when we were trying to decide on a place to eat and passed by a brown sign pointing the way to a covered bridge, we were compelled to check it out.
It turns out that the Harrisburg Bridge is a pretty big deal. It’s the only covered bridge in Sevier County and one of four in the entire state.
We turned off US 411 and drove a short distance on Old State Highway 35 when we spotted a large wooden sign pointing the way towards the bridge.
The Harrisburg Bridge was built to span the East Fork of the Little Pigeon River in 1875 after the original, McNutt Bridge washed away. Elbert Stephenson Early, a resident of Harrisburg, was hired to rebuild the bridge. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975, this covered timber truss bridge is 83 feet long and 14 feet wide on the outside with nearly 11 1/2 feet of clearance inside.
The bridge was restored in 1972 and according to the sign on the pillar of stone near the bridge, underwent extensive renovations that were completed in 2005 after the county received a grant from the federal government. Measures were taken to ensure the structure was restored as close to the original as possible.
The bridge is a working bridge so of course we had to drive through it.
I was disappointed to find vandals have taken the opportunity to spray paint the “F” word on the inside of the bridge.
The bridge does have a window opening overlooking the river below.
While the bridge doesn’t appear to be located on a heavily trafficked road, we weren’t the only vehicle in the area. If you want to take pictures, you should probably park alongside the road and hop out of your vehicle for a better look.
Have you seen the Harrisburg Covered Bridge in Sevier County?