File photo

Cades Mill Bridge has a slight lean to the left where supports are bowing away from the trestles.

The Fountain County Historical Committee of the Fountain County Art Council met Monday to discuss phase 2 of Cades Mill Covered Bridge.

Temporary stabilization was completed Dec. 27 at a cost of $29,000, which was raised through private donations and a $1,000 Walmart grant. Total estimated cost for full restoration of the oldest bridge in Indiana is estimated $150,000.

Cades is the oldest covered bridge in Indiana. Nancy Wagner reported that the United States Department of Interior National Register of Historic Places application has passed the technical review. The application will be sent to the state for review and then on to the national review. The process can take up to 18 months.

Each of the three bridges was submitted individually.

County historian Carol Freese announced that state organizers from the Indiana State Historical Society will be present at a neighborhood Brown Bag regional historian meeting, from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. April 16 in the new Covington City Building, 329 Washington St.

“The meet and greet is to connect with our neighbors to learn more about the covered bridge restoration and other local and surrounding area history projects,” she said.

Attendees are asked to take their own lunch, but dessert and drinks will be provided.

Courthouse display cases were exhaustively updated in 2019 by the historical committee with more cases still being added. Each township has a case and other cases include county historical information on the courthouse, rivers/canals, military items, church, railroad, and famous people from Fountain County.

There was discussion on promoting the display cases and murals in the courthouse on the first Friday Street Fair in June as an event to raise much needed funds for internal operation of the committee.

The second annual fourth grade essay contest focusing on local history will be this fall. The 2019 book of essays on famous people from Fountain County has been compiled and will be on display at the clerk’s bldg.

The next meeting of the committee will be at 6:30 p.m. April 13 at d’Arlier Cultural Center.