Union Covered Bridge State Historic Site, Paris

#1065 of 1,544 in Things to do in Missouri
Must see · Bridge · Hidden Gem · Landmark
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 flood waters had destroyed the previous year. 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 120-foot-long (37 m) Burr Arch span that is 17 feet 6 inches (5.33 m) wide and 12 feet (3.7 m) 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
19 reviews
  • There are only four covered bridges left in Missouri and this is one of them. Quite a bit off the beaten path but it's a lovely site to experience some local history. There is an informative display.....  more »
  • Interesting, but signage to it is poor. Signage at the site was adequate. Seems like the state of Missouri could do more with this historic location.  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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Duration: 2 hours