Press Release-March 2014


For further information contact Mary Chrastil, 260-982-0672,; or



Historical Society to Present “Covered Bridges in Northern Wabash County”


Inspired by the recent restoration of the North Manchester covered bridge, the North Manchester Historical Society is hosting a program on the covered bridges of northern Wabash County.  John Knarr, local historian, will present general information as well as his original research on the topic.   The program will take place at 6:40 p.m. on Monday, March 10, in the Assembly Room at Timbercrest Senior Living Community, 2201 East Street,


The slide program will concentrate on bridges in Laketon, Liberty Mills and North Manchester and will compare them to other covered bridges in the state.  Knarr has gathered information on the bridge builders, the designs of the bridges, how much they cost and how they were financed.  People may not know that there have been several different bridges over the Eel River that were built or replaced at different times.  The lumber and metal in previous bridges was often sold to local farmers or businesses. 


Knarr has been a popular presenter at Historical Society programs.  Last year he shared original, previously-unpublished research on the Thomas Marshall Family.  NMHS president Mary Chrastil notes that Knarr goes above and beyond as a researcher.  “John doesn’t just report what he finds; he thoughtfully examines the material and goes back to the original source, often documenting corrections to earlier publications.”  In this case, he has revisited the Wabash County Commissioner’s Records and older newspaper articles.


Knarr is a graduate of South Whitley High School and Manchester University, with a graduate degree from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from UCLA.  He taught history and political science at the university level in eight states.  Since 1999, he has operated an internet rare book business and bookstore on Main Street in N. Manchester.  John edits the NMHS newsletter, serves on the NMHS board, and is the NMHS webmaster. 


The public is also invited to come to the Assembly Room at 6 p.m. for a meal prior to the program.  For those who wish to attend the dinner, reservations must be made no later than noon on Friday, March 7.  The cost of the meal is $8.50, $3.50 for those on the Timbercrest meal plan.  Reservations may be made by calling Evelyn at 260-982-6777, Mary at 260-982-1813 or the Center for History at 260-982-0672.  There is no cost for the program, which is free to the public.  All are welcome.