Campbell’s Covered Bridge
By: Dan Gibbs
Campbell’s Covered Bridge is located near the town of Landrum, SC at 171 Campbell’s Covered Bridge Road in Landrum and about 35 minutes from Hendersonville. About four covered bridges were built in the area at this time and Campbell’s is the last covered bridge still in existence in South Carolina. It was built in 1909 and named for Alexander Lafayette Campbell, a prominent landowner in the area. Campbell also served as a Private in Company D of the 16th South Carolina Regiment during the Civil War. It was built by Charles Irwin Willis a prominent local builder in Greenville County.
It is an excellent example of a Howe truss covered bridge and is 38 feet long and 12 feet wide and is made from pine and crosses over Beaverdam Creek. Campbell also operated a grist mill about 50 feet below the bridge and part of the foundation of the grist mill is still visible.
Campbell’s Covered Bridge is a park that is owned and maintained by the Greenville County Parks and Recreation Department. I made the short trip down there from Hendersonville one afternoon and since it was the middle of the week and I was surprised that I had the park to myself. I was able to explore Beaverdam Creek and examine all aspects of the Bridge.
I had always been under the impression that covered bridges were a New England kind of thing as I had visions of Washington Irving’s The Headless Horseman running through my mind as I was standing there at the start of the bridge. Luckily for me it was broad daylight and there wasn’t a horse in sight.
I wondered why a cover was built over the bridge and my research showed that covered bridges served a utilitarian purpose as they protected the bridge from the elements and keep the wood from rotting. Campbell’s Covered Bridge was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, the one-hundred-year anniversary of the bridge.
They have a few picnic tables in the area of Beaverdam Creek and Campbell’s Covered Bridge and it would be a great spot to take a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon.