Owens Covered Bridge at Easter Lake – Des Moines, IA
N 41° 32.400 W 093° 33.570
15T E 453331 N 4598856
Quick Description: There is something nostalgic about a covered bridge, and Des Moines is fortunate to have one to enjoy.
Location: Iowa, United States
Date Posted: 5/25/2011 6:04:38 PM
Waymark Code: WMBJAC
There is something nostalgic about a covered bridge, and Des Moines is fortunate to have one to enjoy. One sign tells about the history of the bridge.
“Owens Covered Bridge. This 94 foot span wood Howe Truss bridge originally spanned the old channel of the North River east of Carlisle, Iowa. It was built in 1887-1888 replacing the original bridge at that site which was destroyed by the flood of 1886. It was used for 52 years, then abandoned in 1939.
“In 1967 the Polk County Conservation Board acquired the bridge for one dollar from Gordon and Frederick Owens. In February, 1968, this bridge was moved at a cost of $4,500 to its present site. This bridge uses the Howe plan of vertical tension rods and timber diagonals. These tension rods and timber diagonals are the only original parts to the bridge. The roof, siding, and floor are all new materials.
“There were approximately 50 different covered bridges in Iowa with twelve remaining. There are seven in Madison County, three in Marion, one in Keokuk, and one in Polk County. Appoximately ten thousand were in use during their heyday in the United States, with approximately one thousand still remaining.”
Another sign shows historic pictures of the bridge and has the following text:
“Easter Lake’s Historical Relic, Owen’s Covered Bridge. The Owens covered bridge was built around 1875. Covered bridges were built to protect the trusses (lumber supports) from weathering which caused bridges to fail sooner. This Howe Truss bridge was built to span the North River Channel. It was once part of a road that went from “Martin’s Ferry” to Winterset. Both the road and the river were relocated in 1939 which left the bridge abandoned. The bridge was located about 2.5 miles north of Carlisle on Gordon Owens’ land.
“The building of Red Rock Reservoir would have flooded this last remaining covered bridge in Polk County. Therefore, Polk County Conservation purchased the bridge in 1965 for $1. In 1968 it was moved to its current location (then known as Yeader Creek Park). To learn more about park history, we invite you to call Polk County Conservation or visit our website.”
Both signs were posted by the Polk County Conservation Board.
Current Condition of Bridge: Good
Description of Covered Bridge:
Howe Truss Structure painted red
Year Built: 1887
Parking (If not at the bridge):: Parking is located within 100 ft of the bridge
Location (Road - City - State - Country): Easter Lake Park, Des Moines, IA, USA
Web Address: Not listed
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