Edgemont City Park
Covered Bridge

edgemont covered bridge

Completed Bridge

“Bridging Our Past to the Future”

“Never doubt what a small group of dedicated people can change, indeed, they are the only ones who bring about change,” a quote attributed to Margaret Mead is apropos when discussing a group of Edgemont area folks who decided that Edgemont needed its island bridge back.

The only public covered bridge in the Northern Great Plains to be located in Edgemont is expected to enhance other economic development efforts as well as attract tourists to the downtown, museum and park area. The bridge is 120’ long, 9’ wide and 8’ high clear span made of Douglas Fir. And the bridge was constructed using no taxpayers money.

edgemont park bridge 1890Early photos of Edgemont often show the arched bridge between the park and the island. This bridge was built in the 1890’s. It fell into disrepair many years later and was removed.

In 1960 a new bridge was built but it too fell victim to the hands of time and has been removed many years hence. Still there are folks in Edgemont who remember fishing from this bridge in their younger days.

edgmonr park bringe in 1960A new, covered bridge was planned and dedicated community members brought it to fruition.

An Amish builder from Ashland, Montana named Moses Borntreger was contracted to build the bridge. The timbers were shipped to Edgemont and then re-assembled. Engineering for the structure was completed through the volunteer services of Edgemont native Kris Barker. Cobblestone pavers will lead up to the bridge with names of individuals and businesses who have made significant contributions. The interior of the bridge is adorned with regional ranchers’ livestock brands.

May 8, 2011
Crane hoists the sides of the bridge.

Edgemont Covered Bridge Committee receives South Dakota Hall of Fame "Acts of Excellence" Award!

It took three tries over the decades, but the community of Edgemont has the state's only covered bridge again. The community first built a covered bridge in the 1890's to span a pond in Teddy Roosevelt Park, where the president once gave a speech. Over the years, the arched, covered bridge deteriorated and had to be removed. In the 1960's a new bridge was constructed, according to the Edgemont Historical Society website. It too fell to disrepair after many years. A number of loyal local citizens, many of whom remembered crossing the bridge regularly and fishing from the structure when they were young, decided about 10 years ago that the community should have its bridge back. A fund-raising effort provided initial financing for the 120-foot long, 9-foot wide and 8-foot high bridge made of Douglas fir. The finished bridge is, according to the Edgemont Historical Society, the only public covered bridge in the Northern Great Plains. The bridge is a draw for the downtown area, the local museum and the park.The historical society says covered bridges have a lifespan of up to a century, compared with the 10- to 15-year lifespan of uncovered bridges.

The Act of Excellence is an Award given to a community for completing a project through volunteerism. Edgemont is fortunate that they have a large group of people willing to donate their time for such a worthy cause. This Act of Excellence will be on display at the South Dakota Hall of Fame in Chamberlain, SD.

Get Involved!

Covered bridges have a life span of 80 to 100 years when compared to uncovered wooden bridges which have a life span of 10 to 15 years! You can be a part of this new landmark for Edgemont.

Your contribution towards the maintenance fund to help the Edgemont Historical Society defray the ongoing cost to maintain this historic landmark is greatly appreciated.

Download the donation form here

For more information, call EACC at 605.662.5900

Thank you for your generosity!