The first bridge across Sugar Creek in this area was built about 1827 by Thomas Black and his neighbors who wanted somethnig better than a ford. That bridge was not a covered bridge and spanned the creek in neigboring Auburn township close to the border with Ball township.
In 1880 Thomas Black built this covered bridge. This bridge is known as the Hedley (or Headley) bridge, or the Glenarm bridge, or the Sugar Creek Covered bridge. It was rehabilitated in 1965, but I'm not finding any information on what work that entailed. A local commented that this bridge was still carrying traffic in the late 1970s. According to the NBI, in 1983 a prestressed concrete beam bridge was built just to the south.
An article in the State Jurnal Register says the bridge was in use until 1984 - but it also claims it was built in 1827 which my research indicate is incorrect, so I'm not sure I trust it's dates.
Based on an old photo, the bridge is currently higher above the water than it used to be.
According to this NIU website, the bridge was extensively renovated in 1994. Maybe this was when the bridge was raised, and steel beams were added to carry the load, and the poured concrete abutments that have surface texture to look liked coursed stone were added.
In 2002, the state had plans to add a fire-suppression sprinkler system. It was in place when I wrote this in 2012. There is also a video camera surveillance system.
The bridge is handicap accessible. The paved old road alignment runs between the parking lot and the bridge, and the approach spans are wide, sturdy, and gently sloped.
Spent a few hours there the other day with some beautiful colors to enjoy.
Looking forward to going back after some snow falls.
This bridge looks to be kn good condition. Why is it open only to pedestrians and not vehicular traffic?
Re the West Union Covered Bridge in Indiana and this covered bridge at Glenarm, Illinois.
I am quite familiar with both sites, 1) living in Springfield, Illinois and having a sister living in Covered Bridge Acres, and 2) being a frequent Parke County, Indiana visitor.
This is not the West Union bridge. One name it is known as is the Hedley Covered Bridge. It does cross a creek known as Sugar Creek. This Sugar Creek is one of the two main feeder streams for Lake Springfield, Illinois (the other is Lick Creek; they joined at the point where the Interstate 55 bridge over Lake Springfield is now).
The West Union Covered Bridge is in western central Parke County, about 5 miles north of Montezuma. It is Parke County's longest covered bridge. It crosses one of the largest creeks in Parke County, Sugar Creek. That Sugar Creek empties into the Wabash River 2-3 miles west of the West Union bridge.
Randy, REALLY nice photo! Thanks for sharing.
Visited the Sugar Creek Covered Bridge on 080710 on behalf of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism. Images can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/baument/sets/72157624675929942/
West Union 1876 Over Sugar Creek
I recently acquired a sketch of the Sugar Creek covered bridge with the following information on the sketch; West Union 1876 Over Sugar Creek Parke Co., Ind by Roscoe Misselhorn. Any feedback is appreciated.
This Bridge and the property around it was owned by my Great grandmother,Josephine Nelch. She donated the bridge and several acres around it to the historical society many years ago. Its was never owened by Mr. Castle. The Nelch family has owned this property for nearly one hundred years and still maintians farms in Chatam and Glenarm adjacent to the bridge property.
My brother-in-law, James M. Castle, developed residential property on Sugar Creek, known as "Covered Bridge Acres". The property for the residential development included the covered bridge. Jim apparently deeded the bridge to a historical society sometime before his death. I have often travelled the old road and enjoy reading about its present status.