History Jackson Covered Bridge, Bloomingdale Indiana

In 1848, Prior Wright established a flour mill at this site on Sugar Creek. After a number of other mills and a boatyard were established here in the mid-nineteenth century, a small industrial hamlet and trading center developed, and the location became known as Rockport Mills. Prior to a bridge being built here, people crossed the river at the "Lower Ford," located approximately 100 yards west of the present bridge site.

On December 28, 1860, the Parke County Commissioners met to consider petitions for a bridge across Sugar Creek at Wright's Upper Mills (this site) and another at Star Mills (site of West Union Bridge). The petitions were approved and on January 1, 1861, the commissioners made two appropriations of $8,000 each, the balance to be raised by subscription for "a bridge across Sugar Creek in said county at the Star Mills and ... a bridge across Sugar Creek at the Rockport Mills (called Wright's Upper Mills) in said county, said bridges to be built on the same plan." Bids opened on March 6, and the commissioners awarded both contracts to Joseph's brother, William D. Daniels, "as per plans and specifications submitted by J.J. Daniels his agent."

The masonry abutments were completed by September 1861, and W.D. Daniels was paid $6,000 for the work subcontracted to Brown and Company. The Jackson Bridge was completed in November 1861. Daniels was paid $1,500 upon its acceptance by the county commissioners.

Jackson Bridge continues to carry traffic, 150 years after its construction. It withstood a tornado in 1913 as well as several major floods. Jackson Bridge was rehabilitated in 1977. An engineering report states that prior to this work, the bridge was "a near basket case." The lower chord members were completely rotted, the lower chord was broken toward the center of the west truss, and the skewbacks were cracked and shifting. The reconstruction consisted of rebuilding the floor system and repairing the ends of the arches and the abutments. The roofing and siding were also repaired. Work took nearly a year to complete and cost $75,000. In 1998 Parke County received an Intermodial Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) grant to rehabilitate Jackson Bridge in 2004.