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Holliwell Covered Bridge



Photo taken by Jason and Birgit Smith in December 2007


BH Photo #111069



Madison County has the greatest number of covered wooden bridges surviving in Iowa. The technology of timber bridges predominated in Iowa until the widespread adoption of iron trusses in the 1870s. The Holliwell Bridge uses a Town lattice truss with a superimposed arch for added stiffness. The roof and siding, while giving a romantic appearance, were added to prevent deterioration of the timber structure. Among the Madison county bridges, the Holliwell Bridge is the longest span, and an excellent example of the covered timber bridge in Iowa. // Holliwell Bridge is one of nineteen covered bridges built in Madison County, Iowa, in the late nineteenth century, and the longest of five that survive.

-- Historic American Engineering Record


Covered bridge over Middle River, southeast of Winterset
Madison County, Iowa
Open to pedestrians only
Built 1880; rehabilitated 1995
- H.P. Jones & G.K. Foster of Winterset, Iowa
Covered Lattice through truss
Length of largest span: 85.0 ft.
Total length: 159.1 ft.
Deck width: 14.1 ft.
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 28, 1976
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.32282, -93.95939   (decimal degrees)
41°19'22" N, 93°57'34" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/419708/4575038 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
WGCB 15-61-05 (World Guide to Covered Bridges number)
NRHP 76000789 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
IA 233080 (Iowa bridge number)
BH 13951 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • April 7, 2021: New photos from John Christeson
  • April 12, 2018: New photos from Richard Doody
  • January 30, 2018: New photos from Kevin Skow
  • January 27, 2015: Updated by Luke: Added builders from HAER
  • January 26, 2015: HAER photos posted by Dave King
  • February 22, 2014: New photos from Jack Schmidt
  • March 25, 2012: New photo from Ray Kasal
  • December 21, 2011: New photos from Steve Conro
  • December 20, 2011: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added builder
  • March 31, 2008: New photo from Jason Smith
  • February 27, 2008: New photo from Ruth Reynolds
  • February 4, 2008: New photos from Jason Smith


  • Dale Travis Covered Bridge List
  • Jason Smith - flensburg [dot] bridgehunter [dot] av [at] googlemail [dot] com
  • Ruth Reynolds - ruthmusic [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Steve Conro - sconro [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Wikipedia
  • Ray Kasal - raykasal [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • Jack Schmidt - jjturtle [at] earthlink [dot] net
  • HAER IA-64 - Holliwell Bridge, Spanning Middle River at Holliwell Bridge Road (now bypassed) (changed from Spanning Middle River at county road), Winterset, Madison County, IA
  • Luke
  • Kevin Skow - weatherbum [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Richard Doody
  • John Christeson - john_christeson [at] yahoo [dot] com