Brodhead Historical Society member Polly Weeden said Wisconsin was on the northern edge of covered bridges. According to the local historian, there were 60 bridges in the state when the first started going up in the 1830s. Romantic theories offered as to why they were covered, but roofs were built and siding protected the travelers and horses or loads of hay, or maybe a Christmas tree, from falling into the water. There were no nails used, only fitting them together with “tree nails, or wooden pegs.” By the 1930s, about 75% of those 60 were lost to neglect, fire, old age, vandalism and progress.

Pick up the Dec. 8th print edition for full story….