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Germany Bridge


Germany Bridge

The South Bend Tribune: September 14 1977


BH Photo #456682



In 1901 the county commissioners condemned the structure and purchased Bedford limestone for the foundations of a new bridge. However, the commissioners gave up their plan for a new structure when a nearby farmer, Eugene Nafe, drove his steam threshing rig over the span, thus proving its stability. Fortunately for the commissioners, Nafe purchased the Bedford stone and used it to construct a house.

* Courtesy of Dr. James Cooper


Lost Whipple through truss bridge over Tippecanoe River on County Road 375 West
Fulton County, Indiana
Collapsed in October 1979 and replaced by a new bridge.
Built in 1879 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company; collapsed into the river in October of 1979.
- Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio
Pinned, wrought-iron Whipple through truss
Total length: 153.0 ft.
Deck width: 16.0 ft.
Also called
Tippecanoe River CR 375W Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.11912, -86.31446   (decimal degrees)
41°07'09" N, 86°18'52" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/557551/4552207 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 77121 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 24, 2019: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • January 29, 2019: New photos from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • May 15, 2017: Added by Tony Dillon


  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Melissa Brand-Welch - melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com


Germany Bridge
Posted February 1, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Hey James... Any way to make it possible to edit comments instead of deleting them? I'm not sure why I ended up with a big gap in my comments on this one!

Germany Bridge
Posted February 1, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Good to see a photo of this old beauty as well!

Interesting story behind it as the commissioners in 1901 wanted to condemn it...when it was only in place for 22 years!

A farmer, who wanted to prove them wrong drove his steam thresher over it. And so it lasted another 78 years! There likely wasn't anything wrong with the bridge itself, as it sounds like one of the abutments was failing. Too bad it wasn't a priority to attempt a repair that would have kept it standing. And after it was lost the priority should have shifted to saving the DeLong Bridge... Another WIBCo Whipple truss. But that didn't happen either!