Heading West, Part One


Another beautiful Indiana sunrise.

We climbed into the car, started it up and then decided to head west.  We didn’t know what we would see or how far we would go.  We didn’t have an agenda other than spending the day together.  And in the end, we did that very well.

We drove through Sheridan, Indiana and took State Road 47 out the other side. We hadn’t traveled more than 30 miles from Sheridan until we saw it.  We knew we had to pull into this little town with the wonderful street signs and so our first stop was in Darlington.  Honestly, there wasn’t a reason to visit this little burg other than we liked the name and the city signs.  And honestly, once there, we determined that there isn’t much to the place beyond the street signs.  It is an old village located along the Sugar Creek with old buildings and quaint homes.  In many ways it reminded me of some of the scenes from the movie Hoosiers.

Stopping for a snapshot in front of the Darlington Covered Bridge.

But on our way out of town we did see a sign for a covered bridge and, given that we are suckers for covered bridges, we followed the signs that led us to a beautiful structure in desperate need of paint.  The Darlington Covered Bridge is a fantastic bridge in which the floor is made of wooden “bricks”.

A view of Sugar Creek from the entrance of the Darlington Covered Bridge.

Over the years, these bricks have been covered with asphalt but thankfully, much of the asphalt has worn away, leaving the bricks exposed and allowing the visitor to marvel at the original construction.

Cross-cut boards make the wooden “bricks” of this amazing bridge.

Completed and ready for traffic in 1868, this bridge still stands as a monument to craftsmanship and proper planning.  The bridge was in full service up to a few years ago when they closed off the entrance and made it an attraction.  Of course, modern materials and engineering provide a more reliable means of crossing Sugar Creek just a few yards away from this location but the history and the beauty of the bridge make it worth the visit.

The Darlington Covered Bridge

Having grown up less than a quarter mile from the Emmetsville Covered Bridge in Randolph County, I have a love for the structures and this visit was the perfect start to our day together.  We’d been on the road less than a half hour and already discovered one of Indiana’s great treasures.

Visit us again and see what else we discovered along our journey west!