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Barrackville Covered Bridge, Marion County, WV

On July 6, 1853, West Virginia’s premier bridge builder Lemuel Chenoweth and his brother, Eli, contracted a bridge project with the Board of Public Works of Virginia.  At the time, the Chenoweths, from Beverly, had just completed the highly successful Philippi Covered Bridge project.  

According to the contract, the bridge was to be completed by December 1, 1853.  Due to slow progress in preliminary work, which had been awarded to other craftsmen under separate contracts, the Chenoweths had only two months to complete the bridge’s superstructure.  

Today, that bridge is known as the Barrackville Covered Bridge in Marion County, West Virginia.  It crosses Buffalo Creek on Route 21 and intersects with Route 250 - the Old Fairmont and Wheeling Turnpike.  It is 145 feet between abutments and 20 feet wide.  

During the Civil War, Confederate General William E. Jones crossed the Barrackville Bridge during his raid of Northern Virginia and ordered the bridge to be burned.  Fortunately, he was able to be dissuaded by a local couple, William and Dolly Ice of Ice’s Mill.  

Because of its unique engineering and the important role it played in the Civil War, the Barrackville Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Currently the bridge is being restored to preserve its beauty for future generations to enjoy. Care is being taken to ensure that all repairs correspond to the bridge’s original design.  

West Virginia’s covered bridges are disappearing.  In 1947, there were 89 covered bridges in the Mountain State.  Today, less than 20 remain as picturesque reminders of our colourful history. 

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