Staats Mill Covered Bridge and Cedar Lakes Conference Center
The Staats Mill Covered Bridge, originally known as the Tug Fork Bridge, is located in Jackson County, West Virginia. The bridge is part of Cedar Lakes, a park owned and operated by the West Virginia Board of Education. The bridge is a unique piece of architecture typical of small bridge construction that was prominent in the late nineteenth century. The bridge was originally built at the Tug Fork of Big Mill Creek, also located in Jackson County. The bridge was built in 1887 for the price of $1,788.35. Local people, including well-known local builder H.T. Hartley, were contracted by the Jackson County Court to complete the bridge. In 1983, the 97-foot bridge was moved three miles to its present location at Cedar Lakes at a cost $104,000.
Backstory and Context
Cedar Lakes is owned by the West Virginia Board of Education. It opened in 1949 and is the home of many camps, conferences, and events each year, including the annual Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair. Cedar Lakes is also well-known locally for its extravagant festival of lights.
Recent cuts in Board of Education funding have resulted in discussion contemplating closing Cedar Lakes.