For those of you who are intrigued with history, take a ride through the countryside, just outside of Griffin, Ind. and head towards the Wabash River basin. Along the picturesque roadway, a covered bridge adorns the landscape.
The Red Covered Bridge is one of only two remaining covered bridges in Gibson County and spans the Big Bayou River.
The Red Bridge was constructed in 1875 and remained in use until 1975. The bridge measures a little more than 177 feet long.
According to Richard Paul, former County Commissioner and history buff, the main frame of the bridge was built in Pittsburg, Penn. and shipped from Cincinnati, Ohio across the Ohio River to the Wabash River, then up along the Wabash.
“It was finally moved overland by mules and wagons to its present location,” Richard said. “When I was commissioner, we really tried to preserve it by landscaping the area and planting flowers.”
The floor of the bridge was constructed of native Burr oak timbers cut by a local sawmill. The siding came from Cypress timbers grown in Posey County and the original roof was made of wooden shingles.
The bridge was closed to automotive traffic in 1975, but can currently be crossed on foot.
It was reported that Dave Blair, who owned several riverboats, brought the bridge on a steamboat.
It is believed the bridge was unloaded at Shiloh and brought two miles overland to the present site by oxen and mule.
Two new piers were put under the bridge around 1900.
The Old Red Covered Bridge crosses Big Bayou Creek, beside CR 650, west of Owensville, in Section 17, Township 3 South, and Range 13 West, Gibson County.
This single span Smith Number 4 Truss structure has a length of 170 feet, or 178 feet, including the 4-foot overhang at each end, with a portal clearance 14 feet wide and 13 feet, six inches high. William T. Washer built the bridge in 1875.
The county road bypassed the bridge in 1975.