Melcher Covered Bridge (#24)
Builder: Joseph J. Daniels
Creek: Leatherwood Creek
Location: Located 1 1/2 miles east of Montezuma near Klondyke.
Reference Code: #24, 14-61-26, 12-61-29, pe, Reserve 31-16N—8W
Size: 83 ft long +7’ +7’, 16 ft wide, 12’ 6
Truss: Burr Arch 1 span
Foundation: Hewn limestone & shale and poured concrete
Bridge History: Also known as "Klondyke Bridge," "Marion Bridge," and "Leatherwood Bridge."
The name Marion Bridge came from the Marion Brick Plant. The bridge may have been built to provide road access from Montezuma, 2 miles west. The brick plant closed in the early 1920’s.
It was called Leatherwood Bridge but this is confusing with Leatherwood Station, and Leatherwood Ford. Klondyke was the name of the community near the bridge. It was named after the Klondyke Gold Rush, but here, it was a clay rush to the Marion Brick Plant.
Melcher was the name of the railroad station. Two lines of the B&O Railroad crossed west of the bridge. Though built by Joseph J. Daniels, this bridge does not now have the trademark Daniels Arch. The portal has been changed to look more like those built by William Hendricks and Joseph A. Britton on their shorter bridges.
The abutments were originally made of hewn limestone and shale that appear similar to nearby stones in the creek. The shale has crumbled and concrete was poured around the original stone. The roof is of wood shingles.
The portal lettering includes "R.A. Myers, J. Huxford, T.A. Kerr - Commissioners, J.A. Britton - Builder, S.A. Pike -Auditor, W.M. Rawlings - Treasurer, J.T. Campbell - Engineer, 1899. Cross this bridge at a walk."