Marble Hill: Burfordville Covered Bridge

    Just 15 minutes outside of downtown Marble Hill and on the grounds of Bollinger Mill lies the Burfordville Covered Bridge. This landmark is Missouri’s oldest still-standing covered bridge, looming over the Whitewater River. Construction first began in 1858 under the direction of Joseph Lansmon, and was completed around 1867 due to delays caused by the Civil War. 

    The bridge’s design was modeled after the Howe-truss style, created by William Howe in 1840. It was built with a mixture of yellow poplar wood and iron bars for sturdiness. It stands 14 feet high, 12 feet wide, and 140 feet long. The cover on top was added to provide shelter for travelers and provide extra stability for the bridge, particularly during storms. It was the perfect place for those on the road to stop and be safe during bad weather. 

     The Burfordville Covered Bridge serves as a representation of the multiple bridges that spanned rivers and creeks across Missouri. Travel was necessary for the transportation of goods and materials across the state. This meant waterways needed to be bridged as efficiently as possible. For the Marble Hill area, the Burfordville bridge connected the nearby Bollinger Mill with the town, allowing farmers to easily transport grain to the mill. 

    Most bridges in Missouri were privately owned, and required travelers to pay a toll to cross them. This also applied to the Burfordville Covered Bridge, although they stopped collecting toll fees in 1906. The end of the collection of tolls came about when a group of local farmers broke down the bridge's gate and refused to pay any fees to cross the bridge. 



Burfordville Covered Bridge is part of the Bollinger Mill State Historic Site