Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Philippi Covered Bridge

West Virginia Historic Marker for the Philippi Covered Bridge.
Barbour County Sheriff's vehicle is approaching the bridge in the background

During my recent trip to West Virginia, I got to take in some historic sites. One afternoon the Lovely Spouse, her lovely mother, and I took a little drive south from Grafton to Webster and Philippi (pronounced "FILL-uh-pee"). This town is rich in history from the Civil War era. The line of loyalty to the Union or the CSA was between Philippi and Grafton, 20 miles to the north.

Philippi holds the distinction of being the location of the first land battle of the Civil War (with Ft. Sumter, SC being the first sea-based battle). The state of West Virginia owes its existence as an entity to that war, as it was created from loyalist counties in what was the western part of Virginia. In any case, the highway between Grafton and Philippi parallels the Tygart Valley River, and today carries US highways 119 and 250. In 1861, this was the main route south to Richmond, Virginia. Troops from both sides had encampments along the road, and one of the rail lines that runs beside it was a major transportation line even during the war.

The covered bridge at Philippi was used during the Civil War, and today is part of US highway 250. It is also one of the longest covered bridges in the United States, and is the only double-barreled covered bridge carrying traffic of a major federal highway.

As an additional note, three of the miners who died in the 2006 Sago Mine Disaster were from Philippi.

A side view of the Philippi Covered Bridge

View of one end of the Philippi Covered Bridge

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