Clarkson Bridge

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Also known as: Legg Bridge
W of Cullman, Cullman, Alabama

Lattice through truss bridge over Crooked Creek on Central Rd. (CR 1043) at the Clarkson Covered Bridge Park


Photo taken by James McCray

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The Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge is a county-owned wooden covered bridge that spans Crooked Creek in Cullman County, Alabama, United States. It is located at Clarkson Covered Bridge Park on Central Road (CR 1043) off U.S. Route 278 near the community of Bethel, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Cullman.

Originally built in 1904, the 270-foot (82-meter) bridge (although some other sources say the bridge is only 250 feet long) is a Town Lattice truss construction over four spans. Its WGCB number is 01-22-01. The Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1974. It is currently the second-longest existing covered bridge in Alabama and one of the longest in the United States. The bridge is maintained by the Cullman County Commission.

The Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge was constructed over Crooked Creek on property owned by local mail carrier James W. Legg at the cost of US$1,500. It was originally named the Legg Covered Bridge after the landowner, who saw the need for transportation improvement in the area and even supplied much of the materials. A flood destroyed half of the bridge in 1921. Most of the pieces were recovered downstream, and the bridge was able to be rebuilt the following year with help from a contractor hired by Cullman County...ironically, at a cost of US$1,500. The covered bridge remained in service to motor traffic until 1962, when it was bypassed by a nearby concrete bridge. As part of the American Bicentennial Project, the Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge was restored by the Cullman County Commission in 1975 along with a gristmill and log cabin also located at Clarkson Covered Bridge Park. A number of activities are now held at the park, including an annual event by the county called Old-Fashioned Days.

During the American Civil War, skirmishes at Crooked Creek and Hog Mountain occurred on April 30, 1863, in the vicinity of where the Clarkson–Legg Covered Bridge currently stands. It was part of a series of engagements which took place throughout Cullman County that day as a band of men led by Union Army Colonel Abel Streight were being pursued by forces led by Confederate Army General Nathan Bedford Forrest (mentioned in the film Forrest Gump). This was due to a result of a failed attempt (later known as Streight's Raid) by Colonel Streight's group to cut off the Western & Atlantic Railroad, in Middle Tennessee, which was supplying Confederate Army forces commanded by General Braxton Bragg.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on June 25, 1974
Reference number
Architectural style
Other architectural type; Two Span Town Truss
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year

Update Log 

  • January 1, 2012: New Street View added by Bill Eichelberger
  • May 23, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added Description
  • September 28, 2010: New photos from James McCray