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.


  • Staats Mill Covered Bridge was in danger of being destroyed but instead was removed to Cedar Lakes when a modern bridge was constructed as a replacement.
    Staats Mill Covered Bridge was in danger of being destroyed but instead was removed to Cedar Lakes when a modern bridge was constructed as a replacement.

After being reconstructed at Cedar Lakes, the bridge received a full restoration. A modern bridge replaced the Staats Mill Bridge at its original location. The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Today, this particular type of bridge is rare and according to bridge history expert Bill Hanks, only about 1500 similar covered bridges remain in the United States. Today, the red covered bridge is an iconic part of Cedar Lakes. Visitors are free to explore the bridge and appreciate the historically significant bridge as they explore Cedar Lakes. 

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.