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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • POUR IT ON: WWII POSTER

Wolf Covered Bridge (front view), Spoon River, Illinois, 1979

Wolf Covered Bridge (front view), Spoon River, Illinois, 1979

The Wolf Covered Bridge over the Spoon River in Knox County, Illinois, 1979. The bridge was built by cattle rancher Jacob Wolf in 1848. Wolf designed it to resemble an open barn door so that cattle would cross it more willingly and without incident.

James Burkhalter, a former Civil War Captain, built a swinging end-door enclosure a year after a flood in 1873. The enclosure helped to preserve the wood from rot and reinforced the bridge.

The bridge burned on August 1, 1994. Three boys were arrested for arson. After a lengthy trial, the juveniles were found guilty on lesser charges and placed on probation. All were under-age at the time of the fire. A replica was built in 1999 and made wider and taller for modern vehicles.

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