Parke County, Indiana
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Big Rocky Fork Covered Bridge (#6)


Built: 1900
Builder: Joseph J. Daniels
Creek: Big Rocky Fork (was Rocky Fork)
Location: Located 1 mile southeast of Mansfield on Greencastle Road, near Fallen Rock Park.
Reference Code: #6, 14-61-01, 12-61-01, ah, Jackson 16-14N—6W
Size: 72 ft long +8’ +8’, 16 ft wide, 13’ clearance

Truss: Burr Arch 1 span

Foundation: Hewn limestone block

Original Cost: $1,475.50

Repair/Restoration History: 
Bypassed in 1987.

Bridge History: 
Also known as "Murphy Bridge"

The bridge was named after the creek.

Joseph J. Daniels completed the bridge, September 7, 1900.

Fallen Rock Park was named for a smokehouse size sandstone rock that fell into the creek.

In the vicinity of Big Rocky Fork Bridge and Fallen Rock Park is one of Parke County’s mysterious rock graves. Hidden on the side of a 100 foot high cliff, it is not visible from below or above. A streamlet is also a poorly defined trail up the cliff.

The grave is 9 feet long by 30 inches deep and 20 inches wide. The path seems to step directly into the foot of the grave. A stone pillow is cut into the head end. There are three divergent stories to explain its origin: The first story attributes the grave to the Indians prior to the 1820’s settlement of the area. A second story attributes the excavation to a group of campers from near Fallen Rock in the late 1800’s. The third story attributes the grave to a local farmer, a Mr. Israel Asbury. This story said that he dug it so that his family could bring him here. Or, they wondered if he intended to come here to die. Instead, he was killed while setting on a railroad tie oblivious to the oncoming train whistle. He was buried in an ordinary cemetery, and the grave was never finished or occupied.

Since the bridge was bypassed, maintenance responsibility has passed from the Parke County Highway Department to the Parke County Park Department. Due to very limited funds, very little maintenance has been performed. On July 13,1991 a local group began to clean up the bridge site in response to the Adopt-A-Bridge program.


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