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WHY DID THEY COVER BRIDGES?
The old wooden covered bridges were each unique, in construction, setting and mystique. Each was a monument to the past and each is a good thing to be protected and preserved.
Covered bridges were known as "kissing bridges" for courting couples and as "wishing bridges" by the superstitious.They provided opportune sites for the murder and thief, clandestine dueling grounds, dance halls for festive gatherings, forts and prisons for military combatants. Usually they were a good source of financing for their owners, who collected various tolls for persons, horses, wheeled vehicles and livestock using them.
The covered bridge offered respite from summer heat, thunderstorm and winter blizzard. Many a weary sojourner found lodging under the protective timbers.
Another explanation was the bridges were covered in horse and buggy days because some horses feared crossing over water and the horses would get the impression they were entering a barn.
And then there are those who say the roof was put on to protect the structure of the span below because that was the most expensive part of the bridge. Moisture would get into the joints of the wooden bridges and rot them. A wooden bridge without cover would be thick with ice in the winter months and a horse would never cross the bridge which was frozen over the ice.
And so the debate goes on... why the covered wooden bridges of the past? We like to think the romantic reasons did come in for a little consideration.,