Skeen's Mill Covered Bridge, Flint Hill North Carolina

Date added: April 29, 2024 Categories:

Of the scores of covered bridges built in Randolph County, only two survive. One of these is Skeen's Mill Bridge which crosses the Uwharrie River northwest of Asheboro. A map of Randolph County made by J. W. Bean about 1873 shows a Skeen's Mill. Although this map indicates various bridges throughout the county, no bridge is shown at or near Skeen's Mill. The minutes of the June 1885, session of the county commissioners record a petition for a public road "from Isham Finch's by Widow Thayers, Skeens Mill, John Garrons; and to the Stage Public Road. . ." with John Skeen appointed overseer. Such a road would likely antedate a bridge in the area but at the same time create a future need for a bridge across the Uwharrie in this vicinity. County commissioners minutes of March 5th, 1900, show that C. T. Hughes was paid eleven dollars for "repairing bridge at N. R. Skeens," indicating the bridge was constructed sometime before 1900.

Ithiel Town, a noted architect and early bridge engineer, built a bridge across the Yadkin River as early as 1818 and patented his Town lattice model of trussing in 1820. Skeen's Mill Bridge incorporates the use of his lattice truss, and is called "the last of the Town lattice bridges in the state in which they were first built."

Bridge Description

Skeen's Mill Covered Bridge, one hundred feet long, spans a branch of the Little Uwharrie River twenty-two feet above the river bed. Built on dry wall stone ramps and an auxiliary support, the wooden bridge is a single-span combination of the Ithiel Town lattice truss and queenpost truss construction systems. The joints of the structural members have been fastened with trunnels. Skeen's Mill Bridge, once toppled during a flood, was set back up and stabilized with steel cables.

The sides of the bridge are covered with vertical board-and-batten sheathing and the gable roof with standing seam tin. Plank tracks or treads run the length of the wooden floor.

Skeen's Mill Covered Bridge, Flint Hill North Carolina  (1971)