We lost something today. A magical piece of history was destroyed in a fire that appears to have been set on purpose.
If you’re an Americana history buff you may have heard of them. There was also a critically acclaimed movie based on the best-selling book by Robert James Waller “The Bridges of Madison County” which featured Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and of course the famous covered bridges.
The locals in the area take great pride in the covered bridges, which happened to be located in the same county John Wayne (the actor) was born in. Of the 19 that were built in the previous century only six of them remain. They are maintained well and draw thousands of visitors from around the world to the area every year.
It might be hard to understand how magical they are unless you’ve actually seen them. The large wooden structures represent a time passed; and bare of the telltale signs of handcrafted pieces of art. Solidly built you can see the signs of old world craftsmanship in their imperfections.
The paint on the exteriors are maintained to protect the wood and visitors can enjoy their beauty and the bridges photograph well. But the insides are full of names, poems, dates and all kinds of graffiti left by the visitors over all the years.
Officials don’t know the details yet but it appears that someone purposefully set one of the bridges on fire. It is hard for me to imagine what the scenario was that led to the fire; but it is incredibly sad to know something that took so much effort to create and so many people enjoyed was stolen with bad intentions or stupidity or both in play.