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The Parke County Covered Bridge Festivalâ„¢ on October 11th-20th, 2019

Crooks Covered Bridge (#12)

Crooks Covered Bridge (#12)

Built: 1856 or 1860 rebuilt and moved 1867 or 1872
Builder: Henry Wolf rebuilt by Gen. Arthur Patterson or Joseph J. Daniels
Creek: Little Raccoon (now Molasses) moved to Little Raccoon
Location: Located 5 miles southeast of Rockville. Also on "Red Route"
Reference Code: #12, 14-61-17, 12-61-18, f, Adams 21-15N—7W Size: 132 ft long +11’ +11’, 14 ft wide, 13’ clearance
Truss: Burr Arch 1 span
Foundation: Hewn stone
Original Cost: $1,200 or $5,900

Repair/Restoration History: The bridge was damaged in the 1875 flood and repaired.

Bridge History: Also known as "Walker Adams Bridge" & "Darroch’s Lost Bridge"

Crooks Bridge, like many others, was originally associated with a mill. Parkers Mill was built in 1830 on a Little Raccoon ripple known as "Indian Crossing". It was located about a half mile south of the Little Raccoon Bridge on the Rockville New Discovery Road. The mill account states a covered bridge was constructed just upstream from the ripple and dam.

County Commissioners records indicate that a bridge was discussed in 1850. A bridge was ordered In December, 1855, to be located on the old Rockville Greencastle Road.

Accounts from early pioneer times say that Sugar Creek was a vigorous river while Little Raccoon and Big Raccoon Creeks were a series of swamps, marshes, and beaver ponds spread across the valleys loosely connected by various moving stream beds.

The bridge site channel filled in with sand and the creek "moved 20 rods west". Topographic maps show an intermittent stream, now called Molasses Creek, in about the location of the old creek bed.

There are several historical conflicts which could be resolved by a clear separation into two or three different original bridges. In any case, the name "Lost Bridge" is appropriate. The bridge stood, forgotten, over a dry stream bed on a road abandoned for lack of a bridge over the new creek bed. It was moved to a new location where no road yet existed.

One account states that the bridge was rebuilt and moved to the present location in 1872 by General Arthur Patterson. A second account states that the bridge was washed to the present location in a flood. It was jacked up and abutments built beneath it. The road was moved to connect with it.

Juliet Snowden seems to have confused this bridge with the Greencastle Road Bridge, However, in another account she wrote that the bridge was built by General Arthur Patterson in 1856. General Patterson was one of the founders of Rockville in 1824. He owned land and businesses throughout the county, and she believed this bridge opened the road to commerce between Rockville and Mansfield.

In 1863, J.J.Daniels was contracted to dismantle the bridge on the Greencastle Road. In 1865, a viewing committee, which included J.J.Daniels, recommended the bridge be restored. Various people requested that it be relocated near their homes. In 1867, J.J.Daniels recommended that it be rebuilt at Darroch’s site where he considered it safe from flood and there were no "bayous".

No roads were built to the bridge for several years. One story relates a wet trip by a cold I.R. Strouse, on a horse named Alice, searching for a crossing of the rain flooded Little Raccoon in 1875. He was directed through a confusing maze of connecting horse trails, finally crossing "Darroch’s Lost Bridge".