The Old Road Series - Plate XVII

Release Date: September 1987
Edition Size: 850 S/N - Issue Price: $45.00
Artist Proofs: 50 S/N - Issue Price: $65.00
Print Size: 14 x 28
Secondary Market Value

Perhaps there is nothing so nostalgic, historic, or artistic as a graceful wood covered bridge spanning the waters below. The serene and scenic beauty is captivating. Its steadfastness and age are testimony to the artistic engineering of the nineteenth century and its builders.

Inspiration for THE CROSSING is the Bell's Ford Covered Bridge crossing the East Fork of White River, on State Road 258 in Jackson County, two miles northwest of Seymour, Indiana.

Built in 1869 by Robert Patterson, the 325 foot bridge features a modified Post Truss - the only one remaining in the United States - designed by Simeon S. Post, of New Hampshire in 1863. (He also lists among his accomplishments the invention of the parabolic locomotive headlight, the perfection of the original railway telegraph system and the design of the first railway timetable.) The truss combines wooden framing with a web system of iron rods for bracing. The top chord is wood while the bottom one uses wrought iron. By-passed in 1970, the bridge originally featured an entrance ramp extending 109 feet from the east end.

THE CROSSING was influenced by photos I took in 1978. Due to extensive deterioration in recent years, the ramp has been replaced with a footbridge. One section of the bridge collapsed during the 1997 flooding but preservationists are working to rebuild and restore the structure to its former glory.

Sadly, the last portion of the Bells Ford Bridge collapsed into the East Fork of the White River on January 6, 2006.