bridge information


The Portland Mills Bridge
World Guide #14-61-21
Parke County Guide #4

Portland Mills

According to the records, Portland Mills Bridge is the second oldest standing bridge in Parke County. The Portland Mills and Crooks Bridges were both built in 1856, but Crooks Bridge was completed first.

This 146-foot long Double Burr Arch single span truss structure was built by Aaron Wolf in 1856. The floor, stringers and roof were replaced by Thompson and Noble in 1909, and the original cut stone foundation (in Portland Mills, crossing Big Raccoon) was changed to poured concrete when it was moved to replace the Dooley Station Bridge, northeast of Guion, in 1961.

Over time, the bridge was allowed to deteriorate; sections of roof and siding were missing, allowing in damaging rain, and the northeast corner was burned. The bridge was closed in 1982, when it was bypassed with a ford, and in 1991 the bridge was in grave danger of collapse. Funds from a grant, several local organizations and donations allowed it to be restored to its original state in 1996. It is open to traffic

Parke County is the home of the nation's largest Covered Bridge Festival (see Established in 1821 and named in honor of the first territorial delegate to Congress, Benjamin Parke, this county is located in West Central Indiana and Rockville is the County Seat.

Parke County originally had fifty-seven (57) known covered bridges plus one (1) it shared with Vermillion County to it's west. Today it has thirty (30) remaining.

Points of interest in the County include: Turkey Run State Park, Billie Creek Village, Raccoon Lake Recreation Area, and all of the beautiful Covered Bridges.