Sarvis Fork Covered Bridge is located in the vicinity of Sandyville in Jackson County, West Virginia.


  • Photo courtesy of WVExplorer.com
    Photo courtesy of WVExplorer.com
  • Photo courtesy of West Virginia Department of Transportation
    Photo courtesy of West Virginia Department of Transportation

The process of building the Sarvis Fork Covered Bridge goesback to May of 1886. D.K. Hood and Elias Stone were chosen to find the spot for a bridge, and determining how high and long the bridge would be. Location for the bridge was decided upon as the Mill Creek ford near John Carnahan’s property. This new bridge would replace an existing bridge above Carnahan’s Ford. William Quincy and J. Grim were chosen to start on the supports for the bridge with R. B. Cunningham receiving the bid for construction of the superstructure. In 1887, for unknown reasons, work on the bridge was stopped. The following year, it was asked if the work could be started again on the bridge and the county court granted the request. The bid winners from before the cessation of the bridge work continued with the construction. Bridge supports and superstructure were completed for a total of over $2,500, with the bridge being completed sometime during late 1889 or early 18901.

Over thirty years later, the county clerk requested an engineer to start on supports for a bridge near Sandy Creek on William Weekly’s property. Options included taking apart the bridge at Carnahan’s Ford completed in 1890 or to start on a new bridge at the new location. It was decided in 1924 that C.R. Kent, R.R. Hardesty, and E.R. Duke would move the bridge to its present location1.  

Court records say that there was another bridge built during the break inconstruction of the bridge above Carnahan’s Ford.  The bridge was built on Carnahan’s property as well, but at a different location. This second bridge and its history have been mistaken for what is the present-day Sarvis Fork Covered Bridge. The second bridge was to be built across a run at the cross point of the Ripley and West Columbia Turnpike. George W. Staats won the bid for this bridge’s construction. The bridge was completed sometime between late 1887 and early 1888. The bridge was not completed as described in the contract and Staats was held responsible for any future damages1.

The Sarvis Fork Covered Bridge that exists today is supposed to be the bridge that was built over Mill Creek rather than the second bridge built in 1887 or 1888. The reasoning behind this is that the bridges were made out of different materials, the cost of the bridges differed, and also the original location of the Sarvis Fork Bridge being listed as Carnahan’s Ford, which would be the bridge built over Mill Creek1.

Sarvis Fork Covered Bridge was restored in 2000 at a cost of over a half a million dollars. The bridge is still in use today2.

1. http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/nr/pdf/jackson/81000602.pdf 2. http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/bridge_facts/covered-bridges/Pages/SarvisFork.aspx