The Philippi Covered Bridge

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Eleanor Rose

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Joined
Nov 26, 2016
Location
central NC
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The city of Philippi, WV was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861. Built in 1852, the city’s covered bridge was heavily utilized by both armies during the Civil War. During the battle, Union troops took control of the bridge on the Tygart Valley River and used it as a barracks.

Except for the loss of siding and roofing materials during the Civil War, the original design and shape of the bridge remained nearly intact until the late 1920s. Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972, it was severely damaged by fire in 1989. Fortunately it was fully restored to its 1861 appearance and reopened in 1991. This is one of the few covered bridges still in use as a part of the federal highway system.

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The stone support in the middle of the river is original while the two concrete supports were added in modern times to support steel beams beneath the floor for heavier vehicles.
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I had long wanted to visit the Philippi Covered Bridge and I finally got my chance last week. It was beautiful!
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The structural arches appear to be original because they have been scorched by fire.
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I highly encourage a visit to Philippi, WV if you're ever in the area. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these pics made by @Southern Unionist on our latest adventure. :smile:
 

luinrina

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Jul 30, 2018
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Germany
Wonderful pictures, @Eleanor Rose and @Southern Unionist !

I can see why the bridge would have been used as barracks. It offers wonderful protection from the weather, although if the wind came on right, it would blow right through.

Do you know if the bridge had always been divided in two lanes or was the separation included when they built the street?
 
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Visited here a while back man I wish I had a camera then. Visited the bridge, the old cemetery, original earthworks at a park and McCellans Headquarters which was known as the Ann Jarvis house. Phillipi is very near Stonewall Jackson birth home. She is the founder or creator of Mother's Day.
 
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Belle Montgomery

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Oct 25, 2017
Location
44022
Thank you @Eleanor Rose and @Southern Unionist ! These are beautiful. As a female spy specialist :smile: I posted this before about two young ladies who most likely used that same bridge to warn them in Philippi:

SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY [ATLANTA, GA], June 25, 1861, p. 2, c. 2
This evening I had the pleasure of seeing two young ladies from Northwestern Virginia, who are worthy to be the sisters of these heroes. They are Miss Mary McLeod and Miss Addie Kerr, of Fairmount, in Marion county. Hearing that the enemy had reached Fairmount, en route to Philippa, they informed themselves of the number of his forces and the hour of his departure, and then mounted their horses and rode day and night, unattended, until they reached the doomed town. They were frequently stopped on the road, and various difficulties were thrown in their way, but brave and resolute as Nancy Hart, they surmounted every obstacle, and at last arrived at ***Philippa, having ridden a distance of thirty-five miles without once stopping for food or rest. Had their timely warning been heeded, Philippa might have been saved. But disastrous as the affair at that place was, it might have been much worse; for it has been ascertained, that but for the heroic conduct of these brave girls--not yet out of their teens--the whole Confederate force at Philippa would have been captured. All honor to Mary McLeod and Addie Kerr!

WIKIPEDIA - *** The feminine of Philip is Philippa, and it was meant that such should be the name of the town. But because of misspellings and a misunderstanding of the origin of the name (confounding it with Philippi, an ancient city) the name finally took the form which it now has. On April 5, 1843, the third day of the first county court, it is 'ordered that the county seat of this county be known and called PHILLIPPA'. Except that the name has too many 'l's' the form was proper, according to what was originally intended. Later the name became Philippi, but even then it was oftener misspelled than spelled correctly."
 
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Southern Unionist

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Joined
Apr 27, 2017
Location
NC
Do you know if the bridge had always been divided in two lanes or was the separation included when they built the street?
The center cut stone pier is original, and it's the full width of the double bridge, indicating that the width has not been increased in modern times.

The first time I ever saw it (1985), the roof had been raised to allow modern 18-wheel trucks to cross, their weight being supported by steel I-beams hidden beneath the wooden decking and by two additional modern concrete piers in the water. After the fire, an alternate route was built for large trucks, and the bridge was restored to its original Civil War era dimensions.
 
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