Mecca Covered Bridge - Parke County, Indiana

Mecca Covered Bridge
Mecca Covered Bridge
Mecca Covered Bridge 
Built in 1872 by bridge builder Joseph J. Daniels, the 150 foot long bridge spans Big Raccoon Creek on County Road 136 east of US 41. Between 1877 and 1877, Parke County constructed a new gravel road between Rockville and Mecca. US 41 follows most of the route of this road from the Bradfield Corner church to Rockville. The bridge survived four floods, in 1875, 1913, 1957, and 1990. In two of these, the floodwaters rose above the bridge floorboards. A stranded family waited the surge out inside the bridge. The road bypassed the bridge in 1965. Workers refurbished the bridge in 1993. It is open to foot traffic.
Mecca Covered Bridge - Interior Construction
Mecca Covered Bridge - Interior Construction

Parke County Covered Bridge Auto Trails
Parke County Covered Bridge Auto Trails
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.72913, -87.32499   (decimal degrees)
39°43'45" N, 87°19'30" W   (degrees°, minutes', seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/472149/4397744 ID 16814

Joseph J. Daniels (1826–1916)
The son of bridge builder Stephen Daniels, Joseph was native to Marietta, Ohio. Joseph learned the craft of carpentry and bridge building from his father, who had sub-contracted for renowned army engineer and bridge builder Colonel Stephan Long. Long had developed the Long Truss design, for which he received patents in 1830, 1836 and 1839. Stephen employed the design, as did Joseph in his early bridges. Joseph assisted his father constructing many bridges in his native Ohio. Joseph would complete his first solo bridge contract at age nineteen.
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites, Markers & Museums - West Central Edition
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums - West Central Edition
Indiana Bridge Builder
Joseph migrated to Indiana to begin his solo bridge building career. He constructed his first bridge on the Rising Sun/Versailles Pike in 1850. The next year he traveled to Parke County, Indiana to build a bridge. He moved permanently to Parke County in 1853 to build railroad bridges. In 1861, Daniels moved to Rockville and began building covered bridges. He would build twelve covered bridges in Parke County. Nine of his Parke County bridges still survive. He built twenty-eight bridges in Indiana of which eighteen survive. Local lore suggests he build as many as sixty bridges during his lifetime, however historians can substantiate only fifty-three. He built his last bridge, the Neet Bridge, in 1904. The National Register of Historic Places lists many of his bridges.
Big Raccoon Creek in Parke County
Big Raccoon Creek
Big Raccoon Creek
Big Raccoon Creek enters Parke County at the upper end of the Cecil M. Hardin Lake. After exiting the lake, the creek flows southwest to Mansfield Roller Mill and crosses Indian State Road 59 just west of Mansfield. It continues southwest to Bridgeton, then gently curves northwest, crossing US 41. After passing through Mecca, Big Raccoon Creek turns west before meeting the Wabash River just south of Montezuma.
For Parke County shopping, lodging, dining and other attractions, visit:Tourist Information Center
Located in the 1883 Train Depot
401 E. Ohio Street
Rockville, IN 47872