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Johnson Creek Covered Bridge facts for kids

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Johnson Creek Covered Bridge
Under renovation in 2007
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Location 4.0 miles north of Blue Licks Battlefield State Park
Built 1874
Architectural style Smith "Type 3" truss
NRHP reference No. 76000941
Added to NRHP September 27, 1976

The Johnson Creek Covered Bridge is located four miles north of Blue Licks Battlefield State Park in Robertson County and is currently closed to vehicular traffic. The bridge is important as the only known example of Robert Smith's truss system in Kentucky and the only covered bridge extant known to have been built by Jacob N. Bower (1819-1906).

The bridge was constructed in 1874 and is one of thirteen that remain of more than four hundred covered bridges in Kentucky. Around 1912, Jacob Bower's son, Louis, added an arch on each side to support increased traffic using the bridge. The bridge is 114 feet long and 16 feet wide, according to Louis Bower, grandson of Jacob Bower and a local covered bridge builder.

Later generations have advanced numerous reasons for the construction of covered bridges, but the historical reason for their existence was the maintenance of structural integrity. The cover allowed timbered trusses and braces to season properly and kept water out of the joints, prolonging their lives by seven to eight times that of an uncovered bridge.

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