Showing posts with label covered bridge photography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label covered bridge photography. Show all posts

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Review of Small Town Fun in Conneaut Ohio

Conneaut West Breakwater Lighthouse
On our latest roadtrip we were traveling up highway 90 on our way from St. Louis, Missouri to Manchester, New Hampshire.  We have traveled that way several times as our son lives in NH.  I have noticed signs for the town of Conneaut, Ohio but never have stopped in the past.  This time I was needing a respite from the drive so we decided to stop for the afternoon.  I knew it was a small town so I was pleasantly surprised with all there was to see.  Here is a review of the sights we saw in Conneaut.

Lighthouse in Bay

In the photo at the top of this post you will see the unique lighthouse I photographed in Conneaut.  The walk out to the lighthouse was quite a hike, so instead I got out my tripod and long lens to photograph the lighthouse.


Conneaut is located on Lake Erie in the Northeast corner of Ohio.  As the town grew in the 19th century it became a point for shipping grain, whiskey and forest products.  In 1835 a lighthouse was built to facilitate ships coming into and out of the harbor.  Various improvements and changes were made to the lighthouse over the years.  In 1920 the old lighthouse was removed and the modern cement light we see today was built.  This light called the Conneaut West Breakwater Lighthouse, can be seen for 17 miles into Lake Erie.

Fun Watching Eagles

While I was photographing the lighthouse my husband got into a conversation with a local resident who was out on the harbor enjoying the beautiful day.  She saw my camera with my long lens (600mm) and told him about a place on the other end of the harbor where there was an eagles nest in an old tree.  We went over to that area and had a wonderful afternoon watching the eagles.  There were several juvenile eagles along with the adults.  In the third photo below, I captured an adult eagle pulling a fish from the water.

Covered Bridge

The map of Conneaut that I picked up showed a trail of covered bridges.  There were four in the area and we took a drive and found one that I stopped to photograph. The covered bridge that I photographed is called State Road bridge and it spans the Conneaut creek.  This bridge is 157 feet long and is a single span Town Truss bridge according to the sign on the bridge.  It was built in 1983.

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Review of a Visit to Madison County Iowa

Cedar Bridge
On a recent road trip to a wedding in Minneapolis, my husband and I decided to make a side trip to photograph the covered bridges in Madison County Iowa.  We decided to stay the night in the small town of Winterset and were pleasantly surprised with all it had to offer.  Not only were we able to visit six covered bridges, but we discovered a wonderful  museum in memory of John Wayne, a great little city park, several wineries in the area, and a delightful small town square.

John Wayne Birthplace and Museum


The small little white home above was the birthplace of John Wayne. John Wayne began his life in Winterset in 1907.  His family lived in this small four room house just a few block off the town square.  The house is a square house with the entrance and front  porch built on one of the corners, which I think gives it a very interesting look.  We were able to take a tour of the house and a docent inside the house shared some stories about John Wayne.  John Wayne was named Marion Robert Morrison and only took on the name John Wayne when he went in to acting.  When Marion was a young boy his parents moved to California.  When he was about 10 years old he would walk with his dog Duke and some fireman at a local station knew the name of the dog was Duke but didn't know the boys name.  When he would walk by they would say here comes big Duke and little Duke.  Marion liked the name and convinced his parents to let him go by the name Duke in school.  The name stuck through the years.

Here is a photo of my husband, a big John Wayne fan, sitting in front of the John Wayne museum.  We enjoyed our visit to the museum.  The museum is 6100 square feet and opened in Winterset in 2015.  It features a gift shop, a theater (where we watched a 10 minutes feature on the films of John Wayne) and a large room full of memorabilia from the movies and career of John Wayne.  It was interesting seeing things like the surrey that was in "A Quiet Man" and various shirts and uniforms that Wayne wore in different movies.

City Park Winterset


The city park in Winterset is 76 acres full of recreation opportunities.  It has picnic areas, a sand volleyball pit, a campground, a hedge maze and a place for recreational vehicles to park and hook up.  Inside the park is the Cutler-Donahoe covered bridge which is 79 feet long.  It was built in 1870.

The Clark tower is also in the park. It is a castle like structure that you can climb for a view of the surrounding area.  A plaque on the tower says it is in memory of the Clark's, a pioneer couple in Madison county in the 1800's.  We drove up a winding road through the woods to reach the tower and I enjoyed climbing and photographing the tower.

Another interesting feature in the park is this old stone bridge.  I photographed it from several angle's.  I later found out that it was used in a scene from the movie "The Bridges of Madison County"

Bridges of Madison County


The winters can be rough in Iowa and hard on the bridges, so several of the bridges were covered to preserve the large flooring timbers.  It was more expensive to replace the floors than to build the sides and the tops of the bridges.  There are six covered bridges in Madison County that we visited.  I found them all to be rather similar, with a bit a variation in the length.

The bridge at the beginning of this article is Cedar Bridge. It can be seen on the cover of the novel "The Bridges of Madison County".  This bridge was originally built in 1883, but was destroyed by arson.  The photo I took is of the replica which was dedicated in 2004.

The bridge above is the Hogback bridge.  It is located just north of Winterset and was first built in 1884.  It was renovated in 1992.  This bridge is 97 feet long.

The Holliwell bridge above is the longest of the bridges at 122 feet.  It is featured in the movie "The Bridges of Madison County".

The Imes Covered Bridge was built in 1870.  It is just 81 feet in length and sits over a ravine near St. Charles, Iowa.  

The Roseman bridge was built in 1883 and renovated in 1992.  This bridge was featured in both the book and movie versions of "Bridges of Madison County".  I have read the book and seen the movie several years ago but now that I have visited the bridges I think I will check out the movie again.  The movie stars Clint Eastwood as a photographer who has gone to Madison County to photograph the bridges.  While there he falls for a local housewife who gives him directions to one of the bridges.

Visiting Winterset


My husband and I both enjoyed our visit to Winterset.  We stayed two nights in the local Super 8 motel.  The innkeeper at the hotel, Bill, was so friendly and helpful that he added to the enjoyment of our visit.  He was always ready with helpful hints and directions.  Winterset is located just 14 miles south of Des Moines Iowa off of Hwy 35.

Zazzle Products from my Photographs

Cedar Bridge Travel Mug
Cedar Bridge Travel Mug by mbgphoto
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Scenes from Madison County Iowa Calendar
Scenes from Madison County Iowa Calendar by mbgphoto
View other Covered bridges Calendars at

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