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Indiana Historical Bureau

IHB > Historical Markers > Find a Marker > Potters Covered Bridge Potters Covered Bridge

Potter's Covered BridgePotter's Covered Bridge

Location: 19401 North Allisonville Road, Noblesville (Hamilton County, Indiana)

Installed: 2007 Indiana Historical Bureau Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department and Noblesville Preservation Alliance

ID# : 2920071

Text

Side one:

First bridge spanning White River at Potter's Ford was commissioned 1860 and named after the landowner, William Potter. In 1870, Hamilton County Commissioners voted for construction of this "Howe Truss" bridge. It was finished 1871 and repaired 1937, 1959, 1961. Plans to replace this structure with a concrete bridge were introduced in 1969.

Side two:

After 100 years of use, County Commissioners voted to close the bridge to traffic 1971 and lease it to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department. Listed in National Register of Historic Places 1991. During 1990s, plans to restore bridge and create a park were developed. Bridge was restored and rededicated when Potter's Bridge Park opened 1999.

Keywords

Buildings and Architecture, Transportation

Annotated Text

Side one:

First bridge spanning White River at Potter's Ford was commissioned 1860 and named after the landowner, William Potter. (1) In 1870, Hamilton County Commissioners voted for construction of this "Howe Truss" bridge. (2) It was finished 1871 (3) and repaired 1937, 1959, 1961. (4) Plans to replace this structure with a concrete bridge were introduced in 1969. (5)

Side two:

After 100 years of use, County Commissioners voted to close the bridge to traffic 1971 and lease it to Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department. (6) Listed in National Register of Historic Places 1991. (7) During 1990s, plans to restore bridge and create a park were developed. (8) Bridge was restored and rededicated when Potter's Bridge Park opened 1999. (9)

Notes:

(1) Potter's Bridge was the first of two bridges to be built by decision of Hamilton County Commissioners: Potter's across White River and another bridge over Stoney Creek near Strawtown. Hamilton County Commissioners Records, Book G, p. 416-18, Special Session, October 3, 1860 (B050942).

The Board proposed that the persons who applied for the bridge to be built should pay half of the cost for one bridge that year, and half of the cost again the following year for the second bridge. Hamilton County Commissioners Records, Book G, p. 413, September Session, 8th Day, 1860 (B050941).

(2) Hamilton County Commissioners Records, Book M, p. 148-60, October 19, 1870 (B050957).

(3) Hamilton County Commissioners Records, April 12, 1871, p. 311 (B051001) and Hamilton County Register, April 12, 1871 (B050932).

(4) Preliminary inspections were made in June 1937. Noblesville Daily Ledger, June 8, 1937 (B050971).

Vernon and Wiles was awarded a $3, 547 contract to make the needed repairs. Noblesville Daily Ledger, October 16, 1937 (B050974). Potter's Bridge was rededicated in October 1938. A newspaper article stated that the bridge received a new roof, siding, and steel beams. Noblesville Daily Ledger, October 17, 1938 (B050936).

A new floor and support timbers were added during the 1959 repair at the estimated cost of $8, 000. Indianapolis News, August 4, 1959 (B050938).

In 1961, the Hamilton County Commissioners awarded a contract for a new roof on Potter's Bridge. Indianapolis News, August 14, 1961 (B050939).

(5) Potter's Bridge was to be replaced with a $550, 000 span to be built across White River at Cumberland Road. Members of the Hamilton County Historical Society suggested moving the bridge for use as a footbridge across White River with access to Noblesville's Forest Park. Indianapolis Star, December 4, 1969 (B050935).

(6) Hamilton County Commissioners voted on May 3, 1971 to close Potter's Bridge when the new bridge over White River on Cumberland Road was completed. Once the road was closed, the bridge would be leased to the Hamilton County Park and Recreation Board, "for such use as it may decide either as a point of historical interest or for the establishment of a County Park to be cared for an[d] maintained as any other County Park site. Hamilton County Board of Commissioners, April 12, 1971, p. 371 (B051000).

(7) Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology, Historic Indiana: Indiana Properties Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, 2003-2004, p. 23 (B050547).

(8) In December 1995, the Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Board made plans for restoring Potter's Bridge. The parks department sought $172, 000 in state and federal funds along with another $43, 000 from Hamilton County funds. Engineering and environmental studies still had to be conducted. Recreation Director Emily Ehmer estimated the work would take two years. Noblesville Daily Ledger, December 7, 1995 (B050977).

Bidding for the project began in June 1998. The project consisted of restoring the bridge and constructing a public park. Noblesville Daily Ledger, June 25, 1998 (B050976).

(9) The grand opening for Potter's Bridge Park occurred September 18, 1999. "Restoring Our Heritage, Celebrating the Restoration of Potter's Covered bridge and the Grand Opening of Potter's Bridge Park, " Brochure, Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Department, Noblesville, September 18, 1999 (5090984) and Hamilton County Noblesville Daily Ledger, September 13, 1999 (B050979).