The other day when I was spending the morning with my son, Zelton, I asked him if he wanted to go exploring. “Sure.” We hopped in the car and drove about ¼ mile from our house, to a place where I had been several times, but I knew he probably didn’t even know existed—the Bean Blossom Covered Bridge. Built in 1880, the bridge remains in use, though it is on a small rough stretch of road by-passed by the state highway decades ago.
Often viewed as nostalgic remnant of a “slower” and “simpler” time, the covered bridge was an innovation that made wooden bridges last longer. However, by the 1930s, steel and concrete expanses replaced most of the wooden bridges in Indiana. In fact, the state moved an old covered bridge to Brown County for visitor to cross over Salt Creek as they entered the State Park. This New Deal project shows that these obsolete structures became heritage-making symbols, as they fell out of popular use.
I think that exploring the local is an important family activity. My son is a geography buff and can recite facts and stories about places all over the world, but he was truly shocked to see this cool old bridge so close to our home, but just out of site. So, do something local with your family, which encourages a stronger appreciation of the places we call home.