Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crooked Creek Covered Bridge

The old covered bridge that was across Crooked Creek on the Ford's Ferry road has been gone many years. Although some records in Frankfort says Crittenden County had several covered bridges, this was the only one that was ever talked about or had stories written about it. There were several iron bridges that had a metal frame above it but none with the wooded structure like the one in the picture on the left.

An article in our local paper printed in October 1954 tells us that this Covered Bridge that spans Crooked Creek has been a landmark for nearly a century. It has lost it's cover but not it's prestige. In a severe wind storm in Nov. 1940 the covered portion of the bridge was completely blown away and only the frame was left. It stood like this for several years. (picture on the right is after the storm blew the wooden sides off.)

In the horse and buggy days it was a shelter from rain; a trysting place; a place to cut names; to carve images; cut dates, and a place to post local notices of speakings (when political aspirants made stump speeches) and for the coming attractions in town.

One night in October 1875, during a torrential rainfall, a son was being born to the wife of James M. Gilbert. A neighbor was sent to Marion several miles distant, on horseback to get a doctor. During the late hours of night, being guided only by lightening and the intuition of his horse he reached the Covered Bridge. The creek was rolling high and rapidly. He got about half way across the bridge when it pulled loose from its mooring. He held to the saddle and the horse swam back to the same side on which he entered the bridge.

The baby son that was born that night was Ben Gilbert. He lived to be quite a financier for his day and an outstanding farmer.

The couple in the wagon in the picture on the left are Fred and Lillie Gilbert. Barry Gilbert that lives in Marion today is a descendant of this family.

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