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Digital Diaries: Family History in the Covered Bridges Collection

If you work in the Indiana Historical Society Library and Archives, and you are from Indiana, sometimes you come across your own family in the collection! This week I worked on publishing digitized photographs to the Covered Bridges Collection. Although many of Indiana's covered bridges have been lost, their history has been well preserved in archival collections such as the Covered Timber Bridge Committee Collection, which was commissioned by Indiana Historical Society in 1931. The history of Indiana's covered bridges is forever linked to the small, vibrant communities that dotted the countryside between larger cities.  

When I opened the Dearborn County folder of the Covered Timber Bridge Committee Collection, I found an aerial photograph of the Guilford Covered Bridge and the town for which it was named. I've heard about the Guilford Covered Bridge since I was a little girl, because it was the landmark that welcomed my grandparents and their families to their little village in Dearborn County.

In this aerial photo I could spot my great-grandparents' home where my great-grandfather, J.C. Elliott, practiced medicine as a country doctor. I could see the little white Methodist church where most of my father's side of the family attended. I could see the Taylor Brothers' Service Station where my grandfather's extended family provided Mobilgas and a general store. I could see the Guilford Post Office where my great-uncle was the postmaster. And I could see Tanner's Creek, where my ancestors settled when they arrived in the early 1800s from Yorkshire, England. This one photograph holds nearly an entire family history.

Recently, I took my family back to Guilford to share these memories, where the covered bridge has been preserved in a beautiful park. What special memories do covered bridges hold for your family?