New covered bridge being built like the old ones

Monday, March 10, 2008
Wooden beams of yellow poplar are in place across a small creek running next to Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle and will serve as the frame for a covered bridge being installed as a group project.

A skeleton can be seen at the Forest Hill Cemetery.

Just south of Veteran's Memorial Highway, there stands a wooden skeleton of what is to become a new covered bridge in Putnam County. This joint effort is between the Putnam County Jail and the Forest Hill Cemetery.

"We want to enhance the beautification of the cemetery and to promote covered bridges in Putnam County," Ernie Phillips, Forest Hill Cemetery supervisor, said.

Associates of Forest Hill Cemetery are working alongside Putnam County Jail employees to build a covered bridge for the Beautification Project of Forest Hill Cemetery. Pictured include Evie Capps, Emery Phillips, Herb Embree, Don Black, Steven Fenwick, Ernie Phillips, Tom Gilson, Brent Robinson, Donald York, Clint Cooper, Jason Jones and Tommy Daniel.

Tom Gilson, alongside Tommy Daniels, designed the bridge to be fully functional.

"The idea was to help get the mowers off of Cemetery Road and to promote the beautification of the cemetery," he said.

The new bridge is to be a companion to the already standing covered bridge and swinging bridges that span the creek behind the jail. Currently no name ideas are in place for the bridge, however Phillips believes a name will follow the completion.

Many contributors are involved in the materials for the bridge. Duke Energy bored the concrete footers while Cash Concrete donated the concrete. Both Pingleton Sawmill and Cook & Son Lumber donated the lumber for the project.

Finally, Loren Caldwell of F.B.I. Buildings donated the metal for the roof and Porter Paints donated all the paint.

"[The bridge project] was as close as we can get to being free," Phillips said. "I don't know what it would cost if we didn't have all the company donations," he added.

Using Yellow Poplar and a similar design to local covered bridges, Phillips believes with upkeep by the cemetery this bridge should last just as long as other larger scale bridges in the county.

Around the holidays, Phillips said he believes the 48-foot bridge will be lit up at night similar to the one behind the jail.

The theme at Forest Hill for the next five years is cemetery beautification. Phillips mentioned he would like for this bridge to carry cars one day, but currently it will be used primarily for the mowers to cross the creek while also offering shelter from the rain.

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  • Failed to mention that Donald York, Jason Jones, Tommy Daniel, and John Stewart (not referenced above) are all inmate workers at the jail. So, more or less, half the labor is completely free.

    -- Posted by Mercidos on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 7:44 AM
    Response by Kevin - Banner Graphic:
    You are right to some extent. All time is being donated by the parties doing the labor, so it is completely free. I thought I had written that in the story, but sometimes it can't all run. Thanks for pointing that out though.
  • This is a cool project, especially at the price. Putnam County sure loves their bridges!

    anxel, most people may have already assumed that the labor is free, seeing how it is a joint effort with the jail. Hopefully the 4 men mentioned in this blog take pride in their efforts and one day be able to appreciate their deeds as free men.

    -- Posted by Xgamer on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 8:24 AM
  • This is going to be a fantastic King Post Covered Bridge. Although my favorite is the Burr Arch style. It will be a terrific addition to the area.

    -- Posted by GuyFawkes1105 on Mon, Mar 10, 2008, at 10:59 AM
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