The Cumberland Covered Bridge was built in 1877. During the Great Flood of 1913, it was washed downstream.
On March 26th 1913, the Mississinewa River floodwaters rose high enough (Fig. 2, 3) to push the Cumberland Covered Bridge from its abutments as local citizens watched helplessly. The bridge listed to a 70 degree angle on its way downstream, with the north end leading the way.
After drifting past the cemetery, it struck a large Sycamore tree on the embankment, causing it to turn 180 degrees - stopping at its final resting place on the south bank (Fig. 4) until the waters receded (Fig. 5). The old abutments stood empty (Fig. 6). Upon inspection, it was discovered that, while the bridge had lost some of its siding and roof, the 181 foot long Howe truss (framework) was still in sound structural condition.
After determining that it was salvageable, contractor George Leamon was hired to move the bridge back upstream to its original location. It was raised from the water and moved on wooden rollers to the road alongside the river. Horses and/or man operated capstans were used to move the bridge back down the road. A woman allowed the moving crew to cut a tree in her yard so the bridge could be turned around (Remember, the bridge is 181 feet long).
The old abutments were modified to raise the bridge 16 inches higher and lock it into place, preventing future slide off.
A temporary "crib" was built in the river at the crossing site (Fig. 7) to support it as the bridge, cribbage and all, (Fig. 8, 9) was pulled to its original position by cable and capstan. It was lowered onto the raised abutments and then re-sided and re-roofed (Fig. 10).
The Cumberland Covered Bridge has survived subsequent floods (Fig. 11, 12 are examples) due, in large part, to the wisdom of raising and anchoring the bridge when it was rebuilt in 1913.