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

Turkey Run Covered Bridge

Built: 1865, 1866, or 1884
Builder: Joseph J. Daniels (unconfirmed)
Creek: Turkey Run Creek
Location: Located in Turkey Run State Park between the Log Church and the Turkey Run Inn.
Reference Code: (#48) 28-17N—7W
Size: 50 ft long
Truss: Queen post (unconfirmed)
Foundation: Cut stone

Repair/Restoration History: Replaced by concrete Bridge in 1914 by the Parke County Commissioners. The abutments are still in place. The road was used for State Road 49 until it was moved to the present State Road 47 Road Bed.

Bridge History: Also known as "Turkey Run Hollow Bridge"

George E. Gould states that the Turkey Run Hollow Bridge was built in 1866 by Joseph J. Daniels. Another source contends the bridge was built in 1884. The photograph clearly shows a Britton Portal with a flat top and corners angled at 130 degrees. The picture poses the possibility of a second bridge built here in 1884 by J.A. Britton or that he made extensive repairs.

Turkey Run was named for flocks of wild turkeys which nested there. "Run" is another name for a creek.

The legend of the naming of Turkey Run goes back to the original settlers. Captain Garland had visited the Sugar Creek area in early 1811 while prospecting- He was in Vincennes when the expedition against Prophet’s Town was planned. He volunteered and was assigned to Major Davies’s Mounted Rangers. He returned to Sugar Creek scouting a route to the battle ground. The gorge which became Turkey Run is said to have reminded him of his home in the Virginia mountains, Captain Garland was rewarded with a land grant in 1825 and returned to Sugar Creek to build a home. Sugar Creek froze over on December 15 as "slick as glass". The settlers discussed how the wolves had eaten every animal that could not climb a tree. Captain Garland and his son, Ned, hunted for turkey on Christmas Eve. They had hunted more than 3 miles from home, past the "breaks" of Mill Creek, and were unsuccessful.

Ned was a good target shooter with the flintlock but could not seem to aim when shooting at game. When Captain Garland had to return home for evening chores, Ned wanted to continue hunting up the creek. He was told not to go past The Narrows. A snow had started and by a quarter of a mile up the creek it was two inches deep on the ice. Then he saw a flock of turkeys fly across the valley one by one to a hiding place. He quietly stalked the turkeys into a deep ravine. There it was warmer, the snow was not sticking, and it was protected from the wind, A great gobbler flew in, landed, and stood still. This time he aimed at a solid target against evergreen and snow. He hit his mark.

The protected valley was a secure warm home for the turkeys. He walked up the run or stream. He took the left fork and became sweaty carrying the big bird in the warmer air. When he climbed out of the gulch, he realized he was lost. He looked around wondering which way to go. Then he heard a cow bell. He soon found "old Betsy," and she led him home with the turkey on her back.

The Captain asked Ned where he had finally found their Christmas dinner. As Ned described the place, Captain Garland told of skirting around it going to the Narrows for General Harrison. Ned called it Turkey Run and the name was established.