Visitors Guide to
Sandy Creek Covered Bridge
State Historic Site

Old Lemay Ferry Road
Goldman, Missouri
636-464-2976

Accessible Parking Accessible Picnic Facilities Interpretive Exhibits Missouri Historical Site Accessible Restrooms

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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.

The 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.

The Missouri Audubon Society maintains a checklist for birds that can be seen at this site.

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.


Directions:
From 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.

GPS Coordinates
N  38°  17.669'
W 90°  31.546'

Learn more about the Jefferson County area.


 

Sandy Creek Bridge State Historic Site - Official site maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

 
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