There was once
an estimated 30 covered bridges spanning Missouri's rivers and creeks.
Although there were many advantages to having a roof and sides,
such as providing shelter to travelers from the weather, the main purpose
behind covering bridges was to protect the structural network of iron and
timber trusses from the elements. The coverings also added strength, which
reduced sagging and listing. In 1967, the Missouri Legislature passed a
bill authorizing the Missouri State Park Board to take possession of,
repair, and preserve the remaining covered bridges in the state, including
Sandy Creek Covered Bridge. Of a once wide spread bridge building
tradition, only four covered bridges are all that remain in Missouri.
Sandy Creek Covered
Bridge's history began in 1872
John H. Morse proposed to span Sandy Creek with a "wood covered
bridge" 74 feet, 6 inches long and 18 feet, 10 inches wide, with an
entrance height of 13 feet. The bridge was built later that year as part of
a countywide building program that saw six bridges built to connect the
Jefferson County seat of Hillsboro to St. Louis along the Lemay Ferry gravel
road. Using white pine, the bridge was built using the Howe-truss design,
named for William Howe and patented in 1840. This design features the use of
vertical rods to draw wooden members tight against the top and bottom of the
bridge. The bridge was destroyed by a spring flood in 1866 and was rebuilt
later that year to the original specifications and approximate
configurations, using as much of the previous bridge as could be salvaged.
bridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 and
was completely restored to its historic appearance in 1984. Sandy Creek
Covered Bridge State Historic Site includes 205 acres of land adjoining the
bridge. Visitors can learn about the history and design of covered bridges
at an outdoor interpretive display near the bridge. The red barn like
appearance of the bridge and the natural setting surrounding it make an
ideal scene for photographs or paintings.
Visiting the Sandy Creek Bridge State Historic Site
Sandy Creek Covered Bridge State Historic Site is
a day-use facility.
There is no charge to visit Sandy
Creek Bridge State Historic Site.
St. Louis travel south on MO-21 to Old MO-21 near Goldman and turn left.
Take Old-MO-21 south at Old Lemay Ferry Road and turn right. Continue on Old
Lemay Ferry Road approximately 1/4 mile
to the Sandy Creek Bridge State Historical Site.
N 38° 17.669'
W 90° 31.546'
more about the Jefferson County area.
Creek Bridge State Historic Site - Official site maintained by the Missouri
Department of Natural Resources.