The Spencerville Covered Bridge was built in 1873. A Smith Trust Patent bridge, this structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
I hadn’t planned on sightseeing on my way home to Ohio from Chicago, but when I spotted a sign that simply read “covered bridge”. How could I resist?
I turned right onto CR 68 off Highway 101 and drove approximately a mile and a half when I spotted a small covered bridge on private property on the right side of the road. Cute, but not quite what I had in mind, I continued on. I drove about a ½ mile further and around and S curve when I spotted the majestic, 146-foot long Spencerville Covered Bridge.
This bridge is the last remaining covered bridge in DeKalb County and was built on the edge of Spencerville, the first white settlement in Indiana, over the St. Joseph River.
I was pleased to find a parking lot offering plenty of parking near the bridge. It’s large enough to hold several cars and also big enough for RV’s to park and turnaround. A small pavilion with picnic tables are on site as well as a portapotty for those that feel the call of nature.
I parked in the gravel parking lot and made my way to the front of the bridge. On the right hand side, I spotted a historical marker which reads:
Built in 1873, by John A McKay, spanning Saint Joseph River; a Smith Truss, Variant Four by Smith Bridge Company, Toledo, Ohio; has remained in use with regular maintenance, repairs, and extensive 1981 restoration. Listed in National Register of Historic Places, 1981.
I made sure no vehicles were coming and continued into the bridge to walk along the wooden interior planks, gazing out at the view of the river from the windows on the bridge.
The bridge has its share of graffiti, as most bridges I’ve visited, but this bridge has been well cared for and the graffiti has been washed or sanded away- except for one spot that is more of a compliment.
You won’t find parking on the west side of the bridge, but here is a large sidewalk area that allows you to step off the road to take photos or view the area beside the bridge.
On the way back to my care I did find something that I don’t normally see- as it was evident that someone had attempted to “burn rubber” in the bridge, which produced several burn spots.
This is a great stop if, like me, you enjoy road tripping along the backroads, or you enjoy history or photography.
You can view more covered bridges in this post: