Colville Covered Bridge

Historical Marker #1566 in Bourbon County tells about the county's last remaining covered bridge, which is one of the few remaining in the state.

The Colville Covered Bridge was constructed in 1877 by Jacob Bower of the Bower Bridge Company of Maysville, Kentucky; about 100 years after the first such bridges were built in Kentucky. At one time there were as many as 27 covered bridges spanning Bourbon County streams. The bridges were built with roofs to protect them from the weather. The covered and timbered spans have played a romantic role in history with many in Kentucky having been destroyed during the Civil War. Today those remaining are a nostalgic link to the past.

Located on the Colville Road, the bridge spans Hinkston Creek near the Harrison County line. The bridge consists of a multiple kingpost truss structure originally built of yellow poplar for its durability. Though of sturdy construction, it has needed maintenance and repair over the years.

Two of the repairs were executed by the son and grandson of the original builder, Jacob Bower. During repairs in 1937 the covered bridge was raised to its current height in hope that flooding on Hinkston Creek could be prevented from damaging the structure.

In 1972, an overloaded truck damaged the bridge requiring it to close for about a year while repairs, supervised by Stock Bower, were made by the Bourbon County Road Department. In 1997, record level area flooding raised Hinkston Creek's crest to 37 feet, several feet above the decking. Either the force of floating debris or the current of the water, or both, caused the bridge to shift on its abutments and pull away from the road. Restoring the bridge required a major renovation of the structure which took two years. Most of the renovation was conducted off site by Intech Engineering using as much of the original material as possible.

Over the years parts of the original bridge required replacing, and painting had occurred due to graffiti damage by vandals. However, during the most recent renovation the bridge was returned as much as possible to its original appearance. A wood shingle roof was put in place along with truss camber and the Bower green and white portal details. Arbitrary changes included an increased roof pitch and a lengthened roof overhang.

Images

Colville Covered Bridge

Colville Covered Bridge

This photograph shows the Colville Road approach to the and Hinkston Creek below. Courtesy of Hopewell Museum. View File Details Page

Colville Covered Bridge

Colville Covered Bridge

This photograph shows the inside of the Colville Covered Bridge and its timber frame construction. Courtesy of Hopewell Museum. View File Details Page

Burr Truss

Burr Truss

This image shows a schematic of a Burr truss. In this drawing, the curve of the distinctive Burr truss is clearly visible. Courtesy of Hopewell Museum. View File Details Page

Colville Covered Bridge

Colville Covered Bridge

The Colville Covered Bridge is shown during wintertime in this postcard photograph. Courtesy of the University of Kentucky. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Hopewell Museum, “Colville Covered Bridge,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/430.

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