Once Upon a Time I Found a Covered Bridge in Virginia

November 15, 2003
     

Meems Bottom Covered Bridge

On a weekend getaway in the Shenandoah River Valley, we came across this unexpected sight -- an old fashioned covered bridge.

Located on Route 720 near Mt. Jackson  in Shenandoah County, VA, Meems Bridge crosses the North fork of the Shenandoah River. 

A bit of research shows this to be just the best known of eight extant covered bridges in Virginia

Named for the Meems family who owned the Strathmore estate on the west side of the river, the bridge is included in the FHA's Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program.

It was built in 1892-93 by Franklin Hiser Wissler and is the third bridge on this site. 

    

November 15, 2003

November 15, 2003

     

One was burned during the Civil War by Stonewall Jackson during his retreat from Gen. Fremont. Another was destroyed by a flood in 1870.

In 1930, Wissler deeded the bridge to the state in return for taking over its maintenance.

On Halloween 1947, a bunch of revelers set fire to the bridge and pretty well destroyed it. It has since been faithfully restored  using in part timbers salvaged from the original bridge. Concrete pillars and steel beams later additions.

Click here for more information about covered bridges in Virginia


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