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

Lusk Covered Bridge #1

Built: 1840
Builder: Salmon Lusk
Creek: Sugar Creek
Location: Located next to Lusk Mill at the Narrows, east of Turkey Run State Park.
Reference Code: Sugar Creek 26-17N—7W
Truss: Lattice (unconfirmed) 2 lane 1 span  

Repair/Restoration History: Destroyed by the January 1, 1847, freshet that also destroyed the Lusk Mill and stores. Replaced in 1847.

Bridge History: Captain Salmon Lusk was a member of General William Henry Harrison’s 1811 expedition. He was sent to scout a route to Prophet’s Town. He traveled up the east side of the Wabash River to the mouth of Sugar Creek. He continued up the east side of Sugar Creek to the Narrows. After the march on and the battle at Prophet’s Town in 1811, he spent some time at Ft. Harrison. In 1825, he received a grant of one thousand acres for his military service. He traveled with his wife, Polly Beard Lusk, on horseback to the Narrows. They built a log cabin on the hill above the Narrows. Salmon Lusk built his mill in 1826. Prior to that time, settlers had to travel to Alamo or Roseville. In 1830, he began packing and shipping pork to New Orleans. Flour, grain, and furs were also shipped. He built a sawmill onto his mill. That same year, Prior Wright opened a store there. There are stories of Mrs. Lusk crossing an early, narrow, precarious log bridge at the Narrows balancing with a bucket of milk in each hand on her way to aid a neighbor. Another story describes an open bridge at the Narrows made of hewn timbers. It had a rickety railing of 4 x 4 scantlings on posts of the same size. It was narrow but wide enough for a wagon to cross. Most passengers dismounted and crossed walking. Records seem to indicate that Salmon Lusk built a two lane covered bridge in 1840. It is believed to have been upstream from the present bridge. The materials were probably gathered and sawed on his land. In 1841, Salmon Lusk replaced the log cabin with a brick house. The clay came from his farm and the bricks were burned in the yard. The floors and frame were made of poplar taken from his woods, and sawed in his sawmill. On January 1, New Years Day, 1847, the Lusk Mill, the Lusk Covered Bridge, Prior Wright’s Store and all other associated buildings were washed away by a freshet on Sugar Creek. A freshet is a flood combined with a thaw/breakout of winter ice.