Elizabethton Covered Bridge

Elizabethton Covered Bridge, Elizabethton, Tennessee

Elizabethton Covered Bridge, Elizabethton, Tennessee

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Elizabethton Covered Bridge

The Elizabethton Covered Bridge is located in downtown Elizabethton, the county seat of Carter county, Tennessee and spans the Doe River.  The information below comes from the Tennessee Department of Transport web-site on Tennessee Covered Bridges (Link since taken down but you can find a lot of information about Elizabethton Covered Bridge on the Carter County web-site):

As the county seat, Elizabethton grew throughout the 1800s. However, Lynn Mountain hemmed it in to the east and the Watuaga River lay to the north. The Doe River flooded often and limited growth to the south. To span westward, to the site of the current downtown, the city would need a bridge over the Doe River. After extensive debate, in 1882 the County Court approved $3,000 for the bridge and $300 for approaches. The court appointed a committee to select a site for the bridge. However, the committee encountered an unexpected problem – the men could not find a qualified contractor to erect the bridge.

After county officials were unable to find a bridge contractor, a local doctor, E.E. Hunter, accepted the contract and hired experienced people to work on the bridge. Hunter selected Thomas Matson, who had been an engineer for the Narrow Gauge (Tweetsie) Railroad as an engineer and architect. Hunter referred to the bridge as his “$5 bridge” since he made a profit of $5 as contractor.

Although logs from a lumber operation and a barn were thrown against the bridge and its supports during a disastrous flood in 1901, this was the only major bridge in the area to survive.

Structurally, the bridge contains one span, a covered wooden Howe Truss that is 137 feet long. The total length is 154.3 feet. The bridge contains one traffic lane and a single walkway. The curb-to-curb width is 16.4 feet and the out-to-out width is 20.4 feet. The substructure is masonry stone and concrete. Each end of the bridge features a projecting truncated gabled roofline.


  1. Excellent write-up, Mark. Nice piece of history associated with this. I really like the roof line on this, it’s one I don’t think I’ve seen (or noticed) before.

    Really nice shot and processing!

  2. Really nice image Mark as well as a terrific write-up.

  3. Lovely image Mark. The river draws the eye right into and underneath both bridges. Oh and fascinating facts to go along with the picture!

  4. wonderful scene Mark, well done!

  5. What an absolutely romantic and beautiful photograph, Mark! Great capture here, my friend!

  6. Great shot Mark! Elizabethton is only 20 miles from where I live in Southwest Virginia. I have the covered bridge on my ever-growing shot list for this coming summer/fall.

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