Rating:
3 votes

Lowe Bridge

Photos 

Lowe Bridge

Photo taken by Melissa Brand-Welch in October 2018

Enlarge

BH Photo #436425

Map 

Description 

Abandoned Pratt through truss over the Little Wabash River North of Carmi Illinois.

Facts 

Overview
Abandoned Pratt through truss bridge over Little Wabash River on TR 252
Location
White County, Illinois
Status
Abandoned with deck missing
History
Built in 1891 by the Massillon Bridge Company
Builder
- Massillon Bridge Co. of Massillon, Ohio
Design
10-panel, pinned Pratt through truss
3-panel, pinned Pratt (half-hip) pony truss on each end
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Also called
Little Wabash River Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.10886, -88.15312   (decimal degrees)
38°06'32" N, 88°09'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/398907/4218520 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Carmi
Land survey
T. 5 S., R. 9 E., Sec. 12
Inventory number
BH 44350 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 4, 2019: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added info on pony truss approach spans and other stuff.
  • October 20, 2018: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • October 7, 2018: Updated by Clark Vance: USGS shows this as Lowe Bridge
  • March 6, 2010: Added by Kim Harvey

Sources 

Comments 

Lowe Bridge
Posted August 4, 2019, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Tony, thank you again. This bridge is quite special to me.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 23, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Tony, thank you for your assistance. This was the first abandoned bridge I became interested in and it will always be my favorite. About 15 years I walked out to it with a female friend and my daughter. I knew it was there but never visited the site. It sparked my interest and I've went out there about once a year but this is the first year I photographed it. It was exciting to discover this website.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 22, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I think it's an 1890's span based on the Dean Road Bridge in Ohio that shares a similar portal bracing design and is listed as 1898.

http://bridgehunter.com/oh/lorain/4734734/

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 21, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

James, thank you for all of your assistance over the past two weeks. I greatly appreciate it.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 21, 2018, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

The Illinois Historic Bridge Survey gives the date for this bridge as 1891, but I don't know where that came from (maybe the plaques were intact at the time of the survey?)

https://historic-bridges.isas.illinois.edu/bridgelist.htm

In some cases, it's possible to dig through the county or township records and find the original bids or contracts for a bridge. I have no idea what's available for White County, though. Old newspapers are sometimes helpful too but it doesn't look like anything is available online.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 21, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Is it possible this bridge is older than the reported 1891 build date ? Massillon built a Whipple in 1878 over the same river on our main street(Illinois Route 1). Could they have been built around the same time ?

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I'm 99% sure it's a Massillon built span... Check the portal bracing

http://bridgehunter.com/oh/lorain/4734734/

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

White County does have a historical society and three small museums that are open by appointment. I will have to see if they have any information on the bridge.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Too bad about the plaque, not surprised though. I wonder if the local historic society took it for safekeeping or if it was stolen.

Bring a gigantic zip tie with you so you can strap the caisson back together :^)

Good luck on your next trip!

Art S.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I will be making another trip to this bridge in a few weeks to photograph the opposite side. It has a damaged caisson and I was unable to get a clear photo of it today. I am waiting on the leaves to fall before I trek out there.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, sadly there was no plaque.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Melissa,

Thank you for the trek and the pictures and thanks yo Mr. Winters!

It's definitely the Pratt, not the Whipple and it seems to match your historic picture. Given the circumstances it's not in too bad shape!

Out of curiosity, did you see the builder's plaque on the end portal? The portal bracing reminds me of Massillon, but I'm not confident in this. Nathan, does the portal style match any Chicago or mid-west builders?

Regards,

Art S.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I hope some information can be gathered about this bridge from these photos. Any and all assistance is welcome.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 20, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

A special thank you to Joey Winter for graciously allowing me access to this bridge.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Basically I have a Mystery Location Whipple Postcard lol.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thanks to everyone for their help. I had not considered Possum Bridge as an option. I was 2 when it was torn down and do not remember it. I have not found any photos of it as of yet.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Luke

I concur with Art.

You made an educated guess with what information you had, and you're correcting it with the discovery of new information.

That's part of this hobby and knowledge in general.

No apologies are nessecary.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Melissa,

No apologies necessary. This is part of the process of figuring things out. Once we do, we'll have a picture of a another bridge that once existed in the area. When you get/post current pictures of this one, we will know, definitively, which of your older pictures is of this bridge.

Regards,

Art S.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Luke

Portals are entirely different on the bridge in your postcard and the old Main Street Bridge: https://bridgehunter.com/il/white/bh69821/

Could've been the Possum Bridge to the South: https://bridgehunter.com/il/white/possum/

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I am now wondering if the first postcard photo I posted was of the Lost Whipple over Main Street in Carmi ? Once again, I apologize for basing my information off of notes on the card from over 100 years ago. Obviously going forward I will be more cautious.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Thank you, I appreciate your help. I apologize again for the mistake.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 11, 2018, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Melissa,

The first postcard picture you posted is a Whipple. The second is a Pratt. This would suggest that the pictures are not of the same bridge.

Regards,

Art S.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 10, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

My apologies to my fellow bridgehunters. After further research the Lowe Bridge appears to Not be a Whipple. This photo appeared in a book published in 2007 about the history of White County Illinois.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 8, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Approximately one mile to Lowe Bridge from the Carmi side...

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 8, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

3/4 of a mile to Lowe Bridge from this point on the Centerville side

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 7, 2018, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Awesome Whipple truss!

12-panels which would make it about 180 feet long. The portals look like a Massillon design. Likely ca. 1880.

Little Wabash River Bridge
Posted October 7, 2018, by Melissa Brand Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

It is my understanding it closed circa 1980.

Lowe Bridge
Posted October 7, 2018, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

The 1974 quad shows this as open and confirms the placename as Lowe Bridge.

Little Wabash River Bridge
Posted October 6, 2018, by Melissa Brand Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com )

I hope the current photos will give you the correct information.

Little Wabash River Bridge
Posted October 6, 2018, by James Baughn (webmaster [at] bridgehunter [dot] com)

Looks like a Whipple truss. From what I can tell, there are only three other known Whipple trusses in Illinois, so this is a very important bridge.

Little Wabash River Bridge
Posted October 6, 2018, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

This postcard is from my personal collection. I've been to this bridge multiple times from both directions. Planning another trip as soon as possible. I will be posting photos from both sides. The deck is missing. The approach has been removed from the Centerville side. The Carmi side still has the approach but is in a heavily wooded area.