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March 12, 2009 / Bo Mackison

Holliwell Bridge, A Bridge of Madison County

second in series of The Bridges of Madison County

second in series of The Bridges of Madison County

Built in 1880 by Benton Jones, it is the longest covered bridge in Madison County, Iowa. It measures 122 feet in length. It is one of only two bridges in the county that remains at its original site. It is located a few miles southeast of Winterset.

crosses the Middle River

crossing the Middle River just outside of Winterset

It was featured in the 1995 movie, The Bridges of Madison County.


  1. montucky / Mar 12 2009 9:59 pm

    I’ve never personally been able to see any of the covered bridges and I very much enjoy seeing them in your photos. I would love to spend some time in and around one, and can imagine the days when they were in use!

  2. Ron / Mar 12 2009 10:10 pm

    Nice bridge, even better is that it goes somewhere… 😉

    Would love to see it in B&W Bo…

    R(etc… )

  3. Marcie / Mar 13 2009 5:41 am

    Love the first image. It draws me right in and thru..and out the other side. These bridges are just great!!!

  4. Gandalf / Mar 13 2009 6:20 am

    The story you add to this post (and all your posts) really add to the interest and the view.

  5. Laurie / Mar 13 2009 8:58 am

    Another wonderful covered bridge. Such a beautiful setting too.

  6. ybonesy / Mar 13 2009 7:27 pm

    Cool. I loved that book when it came out. We all thought it was non-fiction. 🙂

  7. Wayne Davis / Mar 15 2009 7:02 pm

    Great photos. Actually, three of the remaining covered bridges in Madison County, Iowa rest in their original locations: Holliwell, Hogback and Roseman. Holliwell was renovated 1995 for a cost of $225,000. There’s a lot more verified information about the bridges at the Madison County Chamber of Commerce web site:

    • Bo / Mar 15 2009 7:06 pm

      Thanks, Wayne. That is the site I have gotten most of my info from, and I posted a link to their map, too.

      And I forgot about Roseman. That is the last of the bridges I have photos for, still need to write the post.

  8. Wayne Davis / Mar 15 2009 7:28 pm

    I wrote the information for the bridges for the Chamber’s site and produced the map that’s on their site as well. Roseman is the bridge most visitors ask about as it was the one used most extensively in the movie; in fact Warner Bros. sent a scenic crew to “age” the bridge for the film as it looked too new at the time (having just been renovated less than two years before). As per their contract with the Board of Supervisors, though, they returned it to it’s “pre-aged” look after the filming concluded.

    Warner’s first choice for director, Donald Petrie, had another obligation come up and wasn’t able to do this film. He wanted to use a steel trestle bridge at the far west side of the county and cover it with wood to make it look like one of the covered bridges–he didn’t like where any of the real bridges were located. Fortunately Clint thought the actual bridges would look just fine in his film!

    • Bo / Mar 16 2009 4:19 pm

      A steel trestle bridge for a covered wooden bridge–how awful!
      Glad Eastwood took over the reigns.

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