Home of Indiana's Largest Festival

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

Red Covered Bridge

Built: 1880
Builder: Joseph J. Daniels
Creek: Big Raccoon Creek
Location: Located 1 mile east of Rosedale.
Reference Code: (#17), 14-61-08, 12-61-08, ce, Florida 25-14N—8W
Size: 248 ft long +14’ +14’, 16 ft wide, 13’ clearance
Truss: Burr Arch 2 span
Foundation: Cut stone
Original Cost: $7,600

Repair/Restoration History: Damaged by arson fire October 1969. Repaired. Destroyed by arson fire October 13, 1976.

Bridge History: Also known as "Newcombs Ford" and "Gallatin Mill"

Parke County Commissioners advertised for a bridge to be built at Newcombs Ford on March 10,1880. Bids were opened May 14, 1880. They included: Richard Epperson $8,700; and Daniels $7,600 plan #1, $7,300 plan #2. The Contract was awarded to Daniels, Plan #1. Final inspection was completed October 13, 1880. A mill once stood on the east side of the bridge along with a small village. The village was called Gallatin, named after Albert Gallatin, the Secretary of the Treasury in the Jefferson administration.

Another writer found foundations of another mill upstream from the bridge.

The name Red Bridge may have come from earlier years when it was unusual to paint covered bridges. Many early covered bridges that were painted were painted white. Traditionally, the ends of this bridge were painted red while the ends of other covered bridges were painted white to improve visibility. The bridge was damaged by an arson fire in 1969. William Hargrave, former publisher of the Rockville Republican, established the Covered Bridge Arson Reward Fund shortly thereafter.

The Red Bridge was burned on October 13,1976. Three were charged with second degree arson and conspiracy to commit a felony. They were separately arrested by a State Police detective at a service station, by Parke County deputies at home, and by West Terre Haute police near another service station. They were arraigned before Judge Dowd on October 15, and their cases were continued to October 29. Each of the three defense attorneys had asked for a continuance. They requested time to study the charges and detailed information was requested. The continuance was granted over the objections of the prosecutor. In later actions the three were each released on $50,000 bonds, and the case was venued to Vermillion County and Judge Peter J Marietta.

A campaign to collect funds to rebuild the Red Bridge was started by Torch Newspapers. Years later the Red Bridge has not been rebuilt or replaced. Only the three abutments remain. The road is closed at Little Raccoon Creek.