July 20, 2015

1758 UNITED STATES (Iowa) - Cedar Covered Bridge

Cedar (also known as the Casper bridge) was one of 19 original covered bridges built in Madison County. 23m long, it was built in 1883 by Benton Jones over Cedar creek north of the county seat of Winterset on what is now U.S. Highway 169. The bridges were covered by order of the County Board of Supervisors to help preserve the large flooring timbers, which were more expensive to replace than the lumber used to cover the bridge sides and roof. In 1921, Cedar was moved by steam-powered tractor to its present location over the same creek, about 2km to the east.

County residents recognized the covered bridges as an important part of their heritage, and began the tradition of a Covered Bridge Festival in 1970. The Festival is always held on the second full weekend in October. As with the other remaining bridges, Cedar was carefully maintained and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. It became world famous in 1992, when it played a prominent role in Robert James Waller's novel The Bridges of Madison County. Three years later appeared in the film version of the novel, and in 1998 it was restored with meticulous attention to historic detail.

Unfortunately, Cedar covered bridge was destroyed by a fire set by an unknown arsonist on the evening of September 3, 2002. The Madison County Board of Supervisors have constructed a replica of the original bridge, which it reopened during October, 2004. Although the original Cedar bridge and its 119-year history can certainly never be replaced, residents feel that rebuilding the bridge with the same methods and materials used in its original construction is a positive response from the community to this cowardly act.

About the stamps
The first stamp, dedicated to Charlton Heston (1923-2008), is part of the series Legends of Hollywood, about which I wrote here. The second is part of the definitives series American Design (2002-2007), about which I wrote here. About the last stamp, featuring a portrait of George Washington, I wrote here.
Cedar Covered Bridge - Official website

Sender: Denise 
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 02.04.2014
Photo: Gene Crawford

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