Narrows Covered Bridge (#37)
Builder: Joseph A. Britton
Creek: Sugar Creek
Location: Located on east side of Turkey Run State Park, next to Lusk Mill site.
Reference Code: #37, 14-61 -36, 12-61-39, sm, Sugar Creek 27/26-17N—7W
Size: 121 ft long +8’ +8’, 16 ft 6 in wide, 12’ 6
Truss: Burr Arch 1 span
Foundation: Hewn stone
Original Cost: $3,400
Repair/Restoration History: Replaced Salmon Lusk’s Bridges of 1840-1847 and 1847-1875. Bypassed 1960. Rebuilt in 1977 by State of Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Bridge History: The previous Lusk Bridge was destroyed in 1875. When the Parke County Commissioners decided to replace the bridge, iron bridges were becoming popular. The first bids, opened on August 24,1882, included: Smith Iron Works - $13.00, $15.50, $21.00 per lineal foot; Wrought Iron Bridge Co. - $20.00, $21.65 per lineal foot; King Iron Bridge Co. - $21.20 per lineal foot; Columbia Bridge Works - $24.00 per lineal foot; G.F. Haynes (Wood) - $20.00 per lineal foot; J.A. Britton (Wood) - $3,750 total. All Bids were rejected.
J.A. Britton was later awarded the contract for $3400. This bridge has been acclaimed as the first in J.A. Button’s illustrious covered bridge career. Some purists have criticized the pointed arch joints, J. A. Britton built a Billie Creek Bridge in 1880, but it was probably an open bridge.
Joseph A. Button’s first wife died as he was working on the Narrows Bridge. He met his second wife, who was living at a farm not far from the narrows, while working on the bridge.
The Narrows bridge is one of the most photographed covered bridges in the state. It is accessible from a public road, three Turkey Run State Park hiking trails, and canoe trips on Sugar Creek. The famous bridges of Turkey Run include two covered bridges still standing over Sugar Creek: Narrows, and Cox Ford. There were three earlier bridges at the Narrows and the Turkey Run Bridge, located near Indiana Highway 47 and the Turkey Run State Park entrance. Then there is the famous swinging bridge over Sugar Creek.
Sugar Creek was once called Rock River because of its size and rocks. The Pottawatomie Indians called it Pungosecone which may be translated as "the waters of many sugar trees" or "ashes at mouth of stream".