Pisgah Covered Bridge Rebuilt After Flood

A postcard of the Pisgah Covered Bridge in 1969. Image from the  N.C. Museum of HistoryOn August 9, 2003, a flood washed away the Pisgah Covered Bridge. The bridge spanned the West Fork Branch of the Little River in the Uwharrie National Forest south of Asheboro. It was built at a cost of $40 by J. J. Welch around 1910. Welch constructed a number of other covered bridges in the area.

Since rebuilt, the Pisgah Covered Bridge is the only surviving covered bridge in Randolph County, which once had more covered bridges than any other county in North Carolina. Along with the 1895 Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, near Claremont in Catawba County, it is one of only two left in North Carolina. The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge is similar to the Pisgah bridge in form and materials, but it was constructed as an open span bridge and covered in 1900.

The bridge in 2004, after its renovation was complete. Image from the State Historic Preservation Office

Wooden bridges were covered to protect their heavy-timber framing from exposure to the elements. This protection greatly extended the life span of the bridge.  The prototypical American covered bridge was built in Philadelphia between 1800 and 1804. Thousands of covered bridges were constructed in the United States but fewer than 800 remain.

The Pisgah Covered Bridge is open to the public from dawn to dusk and is located at 6925 Pisgah Covered Bridge Road.

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