Bunker Hill Covered Bridge

The Bunker Hill Bridge is a rarity in North Carolina.  It is an original covered bridge - one of only two of such type left in the state. The Catawba County landmark is also the last remaining wooden Haupt Truss bridge standing.

Haupt engineered a more efficient version of the lattice truss design.  Haupt eliminated unnecessary counterbraces and only tied in braces where support is needed. While other examples of his design remain, the Bunker Hill Bridge is the only wooden bridge of this design remaining.

The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge dates to 1895. However, it did not begin as a covered bridge. A year earlier, Catawba County commissioners requested that the owners of Bunker Hill Farm construct a crossing over Lyle's Creek.  In 1900, the crossing was covered. The shingled roof was replaced with a tin roof in 1921.

Map showcasing the former sites of covered bridges in Catawba County.

Catawba County once had five covered bridges within its jurisdiction. The Bunker Hill Bridge outlasted the Horse Ford, Hanging Rock, Ramsour, and Simpson Hill Bridges. In 1985, the Bolick family donated the bridge to the Catawba County Historical Association, and the bridge was fully restored in 1994.

Today, the bridge is the centerpiece of a small roadside park off US 70 near Claremont.  It was named a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 2001 - one of only four sites within North Carolina to earn the designation.

All photos taken by post author - August 2023

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