Tygart River, West Virginia
#NC-03130-CB - Notecards
Also available in Assortment Packs #AST-304
#PR-03130-CB - Open Edition Print
Also included in unmatted Print Set #PST-304
famous of the remaining West Virginia covered bridges is the one
in Philippi. At the time of its construction in 1852, the Philippi
Covered Bridge was the largest covered bridge ever built. Designed
by Lemuel Chenoweth of Beverly, the 285-foot bridge is considered
an engineering masterpiece.
Civil War, Union and Confederate Generals recognized the strategic
importance of this bridge located on the north-south Staunton-Parkersburg
Turnpike and its proximity to the B&O Railroad junction at Grafton.
On June 3, 1861, Colonel B.F. Kelley's Union troops led a surprise
early morning attack on Confederate troops commanded by Colonel
G.A. Porterfield. Equipped with firearms but little ammunition,
the Confederates had no choice but to retreat. Union troops took
command of the bridge and used it as a barracks. The short battle
strengthened the Union position in western Virginia and discouraged
In 1989 the
bridge suffered severe damage caused by fire and a two-year historical
restoration project was begun by local preservationists. Under
the direction of bridge historian and WVU professor Emory Kemp,
the bridge was restored to its Civil War appearance, except for
the 1934 reinforced concrete deck and the addition of lighting,
sprinklers and smoke detectors. The historic Philippi Covered
Bridge was reopened to traffic on September 16, 1991.
bridge, on US Route 250 at Philippi, is recognized as a National
Historical Landmark and is the nation's only two-lane covered
bridge still serving a federal highway.
© 1999 Dianne Harrah, Drawing © 1999 Bill Harrah