Harmony Motter Photography
Richard Sayer Photography
I recently returned home from a trip to Winterset, Iowa. It is the sweetest place on Earth. I first discovered Winterset in 1993, when I read the legendary love story and the bestselling hardcover novel of all time, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. I fell in love with this little town and vowed that one day I would travel the dirts roads of Iowa. So much to my surprise, the book was made into a movie in 1995. I ran to the theatre to see it played out on the big screen and I loved it! In the Summer of 2006, I travelled to Madison County to see the six remaining bridges with my own eyes and with my own camera in hand. It really felt like a heaven made just for me. I don't know why and I can't really explain it. I just felt as if I belonged there. It felt like home to me! So, now in the Fall of 2011 I returned. This time, I spent more time with the bridges. I really tried to take in all that I could. Above is a reflection of Roseman Bridge. Roseman Bridge was built in 1883, and sits in its original location. The bridge was renovated in 1992 at a cost of $152,515. Roseman Covered Bridge has also been called the haunted bridge because in 1892 two sheriff's posses trapped a county jail escapee in the bridge. Legend says that the man cried out, rose up straight through the roof of the bridge and disappeared.
Hogback Covered Bridge is 97 feet long and was built in 1884, and is in its original location in a valley north of Winterset, Iowa. It was in use up until the mid 1990s, when a modern bridge bypassed it.
Cedar Bridge is 76 feet long and was built in 1883 by Benton Jones over Cedar creek north of Winterset. Cedar (also known as the Casper bridge) was one of 19 original covered bridges built in Madison County. 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, the bridge was moved by steam-powered tractor to its present location over the same creek, about a mile to the east. Cedar bridge is the last bridge open to vehicles. The 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. Although the original Cedar bridge and its 119-year history can 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.
Photos By: Harmony Motter