Home of Indiana's Largest Festival

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

Weisner Covered Bridge

Built: 1908
Builder: Joseph A. Britton
Creek: Weisner Creek (was called Weisner’s Brook)
Location: Located on Fisher’s Road and 1 1/2 miles southwest of Catlin.
Reference Code: (#40), 12-61-12, ds, Florida 2-14N—8W
Size: 43 feet long +10- +10’, 16 feet wide
Truss: King Post (no arch) 1 span
Foundation: Poured concrete

Repair/Restoration History: Destroyed by flood in 1957. Wood bridge on concrete abutments was replaced by concrete bridge on wood abutments in 1960.

Bridge History: The Weisner Bridge was built the same year and by the same builder as the nearby Zacke Cox and Harry Evans Covered Bridges. This bridge was without an arch, in contrast with the other two because it was shorter. For one year it was the shortest county owned bridge. The Philips Bridge was built the following year. The Weisner was the prototype for the Philips, also without an arch, and they were tied for shortest until Weisner was washed away in 1957.

One source claimed a second covered bridge over Weisner Creek existed during the 1930’s. During the construction of the Weisner Bridge, there was quicksand all along the creek bed. Teams of wagons bogged down in the sand. After these incidents, small herds of cattle were led back and forth across the sand to pack it down and make it firm enough to support horses and wagons.

The Weisner Bridge was washed away during the flood of 1957. A small dam above the bridge gave away during the massive rainstorm. As the Weisner valley filled with water, washing away the bridge, the residents in the nearby house feared that the rising water would sweep it away too. A larger flood control dam has been constructed by the Corps of Engineers upstream from the Weisner Bridge site. However, one study of the newer dam and bridge is reported to state that if this dam collapsed, the flood would sweep down the Little Raccoon valley and damage houses in Jessup.

The Moore Covered Bridge was also destroyed in the 1957 flood. The Pleasant Valley Iron Bridge was overloaded and destroyed by a truck the same year. Replacement of these bridges and repairs to smaller bridges placed a serious economic burden on Parke County. This was a time of economic downturn in the county. As a result of the search for new county income and concern over the loss of the county’s unique covered bridges, the first Covered Bridge Festival was organized.

The future site of the Weisner Covered Bridge was once owned by Hirem Catlin for whom the town and covered bridge were named. The property transfer from Joel Wesley Catlin was recorded before Justice of the Peace John C. Gilkeson, owner of the future Nevins Covered Bridge site.