Parke County, Indiana
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Catlin Covered Bridge (#13)


Built: 1907, moved 1961
Builder: Clark McDaniel, moved by Garrard Brothers Trucking
Creek: Sunderland Creek, moved to Bill Diddle
Location: Located on north side of Catlin on Rockville Rosedale Road. Moved to Rockville Golf Course, 2 miles north of Rockville, near US Highway 41 and County Fairgrounds. Also on "Blue Route"
Reference Code: #13,14-61-15,12-61-16, er, Florida/Adams 36/31-15N—7/8W. Moved to Penn 36-16N—8W
Size: 54 ft long +9’ +9’, 16 ft wide, 13’ clearance
Truss: Burr Arch 1 span
Foundation: Poured concrete (both)

Bridge History: William Rea was the first settler near Catlin in 1820. The town was named Catlin Station on the Vandalia Railroad from a resident, Hiram Catlin. Along with a Mr. Montgomery and Henry Miller, they decided to establish a shipping point in the early years of the Civil War. (These names have also been reported as Thomas Catlin, Samuel Catlin, and Thomas Harshman.)

James Ray built a steam powered flour mill on the south side of town in about 1865. It was operated by McCullough and Chambers and later by Charles Rapp and Hiram Brown. After the business failed, the building was converted into a hotel called the Perrin Hotel. The hotel and several other businesses burned in August, 1902. The fire started from hot coals expelled by a train which ignited dry grass.

W.R.Pence and L.O.Gray started a poultry business in 1892. In 1917, the business was expanded, cold storage added, and an ice house built. The building has since housed a grocery store, Post Office, drug store, Masonic lodge hall, and remains today as a private welding shop.

Coal mines were located east of town. They closed suddenly in 1919 when flooded with quicksand. Some of the miners lost their tools in the flood of sand.

Stockyards were located southwest of town. Cattle were driven there for rail loading. The rail depot remains, windows covered with plastic, across the road from the abandoned railbed.

The Rockville Rosedale Road, once called the Ben Hur Highway, was a major route to Crawfordsville. Even after construction of US Highway 41, it continued to carry heavy agricultural truck traffic. The Catlin Bridge was condemned and closed soon after the Covered Bridge Festivals began. Federal funds were made available to upgrade roads.

Before replacement, the bridge was allowed to fall into a severe state of disrepair. In order to prevent the outright destruction of this valuable covered bridge, funding was raised to move it to the Rockville Golf Course.

Although sufficient funds were raised to move the bridge, several years passed before a foundation was constructed, the siding, roof, and deck were repaired, and the bridge was properly repainted. Some golfers even lobbied for the demolition and removal of it as an obstacle and eyesore.

The Catlin Bridge is now on public display, spanning a stream named for the golf course designer.


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