Infamous Acts of Indiana Arson

1Jeffries Ford Covered Bridge

Built in 1915 just two miles outside Bridgeton in eastern Indiana, the Jeffries Ford Covered Bridge stood as a magnificent example of Indiana’s covered bridge tradition, specifically in its use of the Burr Truss Arch, a design frequently seen in covered bridges. Added to the National Historic Registry in 1978, the bridge was designed by famed builder J.A. Britton, but constructed by his nine sons.

Sadly, a Parke County resident set fire to the Jeffries Ford Bridge in 2002, burning it down to its concrete pylons. The same individual burned the Bridgeton Covered Bridge in 2005, and attempted to burn a third bridge in 2005. After convicted of three counts of arson, he is currently serving 90 years in prison.

2Wilbur Wynant House


Built in 1916 and designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Wynant House stood on the Gary lakeshore as a prototype of Wright’s ambitious American System of Housing Project, which sought to utilize prefabricated elements and universal design throughout entire neighborhoods.

The project never came to fruition and the house stood empty for almost three decades, its lineage forgotten, until it was identified as an authentic Wright design in 1995. Historic enthusiasts began raising funds for its restoration, but their hopes were dashed in 2006. Fire, which officials strongly suspect was arson, razed the building that year, reducing the home into a “total loss.”


3Snyderman House

When this Micheal Graves-designed home premiered in 1972, it was an architectural event for Fort Wayne. It was the celebrated architect’s (and Hoosier) largest work at the time and unique in representing a “transitional style” for Graves.

The house was sold in 1999 and almost torn-down to make way for a housing development, but Fort Wayne preservation groups blocked its construction. They attempted to raise funds for its restoration, but the building burned to the ground in 2002, which Fort Wayne fire officials believe was arson.

4Grandview Apostolic Church

The Grandview Apostolic Church harkened back to Indiana’s earliest years in Brown County, Indiana. A distinct example of country beauty, the 1892 church had a simple facade, steeple, and contained only a single room for worship, and was the second oldest church in the county.

Tragically, the church burned to bare timbers in 2010, and seven teenagers were charged with arson. Found guilty, the teenagers claimed that, under the influence of LSD, they thought the church a congregation of Satan worshippers, and the act of arson “God’s work.”