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March 13, 2009 / Bo Mackison

Another Madison Country Bridge–The Hogback

third in the series of Bridges from Madison County

third in the series of Bridges from Madison County

Another covered bridge from Madison County. Now that I have dug into my archives from last October, I am determined to get this series of bridges posted, and then I can cross this off my photo to-do list.

This bridge was built in 1884 by Benton Jones. (Benton appears to have done most of the bridge building in the county.) It runs 97 feet long across the North River.

The people who named the creeks and rivers in this central Iowa region had a utilitarian approach to their job. A few of the many water ways near Winterset are known as Middle River, South River, North River . . . you get the general idea.

Why name a bridge Hogback?

Why name a bridge Hogback?

They were a little more inventive when it came to naming the actual bridges. Though most of the county’s covered bridges were named after the bridge’s closest neighbor (or neighbors if there was a bit of an disagreement), Hogback got its name from the limestone ridge which forms the west end of this valley.

Lovely Autumn Day for a Drive

Lovely Autumn Day for the Last Leg of a Long Drive

I took these photographs on the last day of a 16 day road trip from Wisconsin to New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and back. By the time we hit Iowa we were getting close to home, but I couldn’t miss the opportunity to check out these bridges. They are all only a short drive from either Interstate 80 which cuts east-west through Iowa, or Interstate 35 which bisects the state with its north-south route.

A map provided by the Madison County Chamber of Commerce shows all the locations of the bridges and other locations from the movie The Bridges of Madison County, plus the birthplace home of John Wayne.

Ha! Bet you didn’t know John Wayne had to share Winterset’s limelight with all the covered bridges in the area. I didn’t take a photo of his home. I think the bridges had more appeal, and I was running out of time and energy.


  1. organicsyes / Mar 13 2009 6:52 pm

    You are awesome:)

  2. uphilldowndale / Mar 14 2009 7:00 am

    Glad you explained why they are covered otherwise they would seem somewhat over engineered, in such an open landscape

  3. Debi / Mar 14 2009 3:18 pm

    What great fortune that you get to experience these amazing bridges!

  4. montucky / Mar 14 2009 3:30 pm

    Their present condition is impressive, given the age of the structures. Well worth the effort to maintain them in my opinion!

  5. jeju / Mar 15 2009 6:46 am

    i like seeing the landscape in the distance

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