Peabody Singing Tower

 North Manchester, Indiana

Recipient of Indiana Historical Society's Awards--"2013 Outstanding Project Award" &
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North Manchester

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Source: NMHS Newsletter May 1986


By Daphne Cook
Fifth Grade, Maple Park

North Manchester covered bridge is 113 years old this year (1985).  In order for the bridge’s history to be recorded, Mrs. Martha Farmer, Timbercrest Home, North Manchester, has provided many of her memories of the bridge. 

Mrs. Farmer’s parents moved into the home last owned by Max Bush, near the bridge, when she was ten years old and she lived there most of her childhood. 

Mrs. Farmer remembered that the bridge was very dark at night.  One time her mother was coming home from church services and came across several cows and they were lying on the floor of the bridge.  This memory is from the 1880’s or the 1890’s. 

At a much later time an electric light was put in the middle, top of the bridge but it did not last for long.  That is because it made a good little target for little and big kids and their slingshots. 

One of the adventures for young men in North Manchester at the turn of the century was to “beau home” their girlfriends across the covered bridge.  The other boys would tease any of their friends who would walk a girl home from town and go over the covered bridge. 

The bridge was built in 1872 and has always been painted red.  Many years after its original construction, residents in the neighborhood circulated a petition to get a walkway added to the bridge.  For many years the covered bridge was the only means of crossing the river to get into North Manchester.  There was a rope placed across the river where Second Street now ends and some people could pull themselves across the river in boats.  Later a footbridge was constructed near the present Main Street Bridge, but horses and wagons had to cross at the covered bridge. 

Mrs. Farmer best described the bridge as “graceful as a lady.  It does not look clumsy but is long and graceful.” 

[Source:  Newspaper article out of the Journal-Gazette, 1972 issue.]