Union Covered Bridge State Historic Site, Paris

#1113 of 1,569 in Things to do in Missouri
The Union Covered Bridge State Historic Site in Monroe County, Missouri, is maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources as a state historic site to preserve the Union covered bridge. The bridge was built in 1871 across the Elk Fork of the Salt River as a link in the Paris-to-Fayette road. Its name comes from the nearby Union Church. In 1968 a partial restoration was completed using materials from the Mexico Covered Bridge which was destroyed the year before by flood waters. In 1970 the Union bridge was closed after structural timbers were damaged by overweight trucks. A total restoration was completed in 1988. The bridge was entered on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.
The bridge is a 120ft Burr Arch span that is 17ft wide and 12ft high. Joseph C. Elliot built the bridge in 1871 from local oak. It is sided in clapboard and uses wood shingles. Two earlier uncovered bridges at this site were replaced in turn due to deterioration.
Some siding was removed as an emergency measure in 2008 when the bridge was threatened by severe flooding. Removal of the lowest siding allowed the stream to flow freely through the understructure of the bridge, thus sparing it the full force of the current. The bridge was saved, but the removed siding is still missing while funds for repair are sought.
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Union Covered Bridge State Historic Site Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
16 reviews
  • Love this old bridge, restoration looks fantastic. Highly recommend a visit. The bridge still has some original boards. A must see if you are in the area.  more »
  • My wife likes covered bridges, so we found one in Missouri and it was beautiful. Well worth the short drive off the highway. The road doesn't cross the bridge, but you can park right at the bridge and...  more »
  • The Union Covered Bridge State Historic Site offers tranquility and beauty, while there's no park or picnic tables, there is a small parking lot, and the bridge is open to pedestrian traffic. It was built in 1871, as part of the Paris - Fayette route, and derives its name from the nearby Union Church. A partial restoration was done on the bridge in 1968, and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. We very much enjoyed the beautiful surroundings and the sound of the river below. Lacey also enjoyed the opportunity to cool off in the water!
  • A beautiful historic covered bridge that's a good stop for history buffs, nature lovers or photographers. From the low water crossing the bridge and it's reflection in the water make a nice backdrop for photos.

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