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Educational Guide to Covered Bridges in the United States


This educational guide consists of a printed guide (779 kb pdf) and a downloadable interactive program (488 mb zip).

To use the interactive guide, download the zip file and unzip the document. Double-click the .exe file to install the program to your computer, and follow the on-screen instructions.


The objective of this project was to produce an educational guide on the history and preservation of covered bridges in the United States that is suitable for use by teachers of grade levels from kindergarten through the senior year in high school. It is hoped that this guide will stimulate the students' interest and understanding of the basic "nuts and bolts" engineering aspects of covered bridges, as well as illuminate the place of the covered bridge in transportation history and in the development of U.S. bridge design technology. The discussion of current bridge restoration projects around the country will help students comprehend the basic philosophy and techniques of covered bridge restoration and preservation.

Target Audience

The primary users of this guide will be history teachers; however, mathematics, science (physics), and English teachers may find certain units useful in their classes. While the general grades and subjects for each unit are indicated in the guide, teachers will want to use their discretion as to which units are suitable for their classes.

Developed By

This project is one of several funded by the Federal Highway Administration under the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program. The educational guide was produced by West Virginia University's Institute for the History of Technology and Industrial Archeology, under the leadership of Dr. Emory Kemp, Director Emeritus of the Institute, a well-known bridge historian.