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Roseman Covered Bridge

Roseman Covered Bridge spans Middle River eight miles southwest of Winterset and was built by county work crews under the supervision of Harvey P. Jones and George K. Foster for an original cost of $2,930. It is 104 feet long, with the signature Jones' flat roof, and was built using a Town Lattice truss (though the lattice planks are thinner than usual by an inch, suggesting there may have been a local shortage of large timber). The basic structure is of native lumber, including plank flooring. Each end of the bridge rests on steel tube pilings which have replaced the original wood pilings. The outside cover is six-inch-wide boards, painted red with white trim. A few of these have been replaced.

The Roseman Bridge was named after the family of Edward Monroe Roseman. Born in 1833 in Fairview, Guernsey County, Ohio, his parents were Joseph and Tapath (Monroe) Roseman. Joseph was the son of another Edward (the elder) who immigrated from Ireland to America in 1794. Edward (the elder) was the son of James Rosemond, of Ballinamore, Ireland. Edward Roseman married Margaret Poland in 1856, during the time the bridge was being built near their home. Edward and Margaret had ten children, some of whom died in childhood. Edward survived Margaret, marrying Savilla Elizabeth Hurt in 1893. They had three children, all born in Lorimor, Iowa. Edward died October 10, 1911. He is buried at Lorimor.

The Roseman Bridge is still situated in its original location, and it carried traffic for nearly a century, until it was bypassed in 1981. The bridge was renovated in 1992 at a cost of $152,515, with the help of a federal restoration grant.

The Roseman Bridge first gained fame as a “haunted bridge” in 1892, due to a sheriff’s posse who tried to capture an escapee from the county jail. The posse caught up with the convict at the Roseman Bridge. According to legend, the convict entered one end of the bridge, so the sheriff split his posse in half and they entered both ends of the bridge at the same time. Apparently there were gunshots and some members of the posse were injured. The convict is said to have let out a terrible scream, but was never found, as if he vanished into thin air. Throughout the years, visitors have claimed to hear laughter or to have felt a cold spot in the middle of the bridge.

The Roseman Bridge’s even greater claim to fame came in 1994 when it was featured in the movie, The Bridges of Madison County. The bridge had been renovated just before the film company arrived. Clint Eastwood, the movie’s producer and director, wanted the bridge to look old and in disrepair, so the crew worked hard to “age” the bridge. Despite the county being reassured that the bridge would look the same as it had before production, workmen had to return and repaint the bridge when production ended.

Location

2451 Elderberry Ave
Winterset, IA 50273

Roseman Covered Bridge photo