Rating:
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Ash Road Bridge (1883)

Photo 

ca. 1910 postcard view

Enlarge

BH Photo #507787

Map 

Description 

Based on the length of the current bridge this was likely a 2 or 3 span structure.

Portal design identifies it as a Columbia Bridge Works product.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Whipple through truss bridge over St Joseph River on Ash Road (County Line Road)
Location
St. Joseph County, Indiana, and Elkhart County, Indiana
Status
Replaced by the current concrete arch bridge in 1929.
History
Built 1883 by the Columbia Bridge Works; Replaced 1929
Builder
- Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, Ohio
Design
Pinned Whipple through truss
Also called
Old County Line Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.68000, -86.06136   (decimal degrees)
41°40'48" N, 86°03'41" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/578124/4614673 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 94409 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • September 20, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: added build date
  • September 20, 2021: New photo from Tony Dillon

Sources 

  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com

Comments 

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I looked at historic maps for both counties to see if Ash Road might have originally crossed Baugo Creek to the South of this bridge. It currently ends at Washington Street and then starts again just to the South of that stream. It doesn't appear that it ever did.

I felt that the information stated on the back of the postcard seemed matter-of-fact enough to be given a fair degree of merit. Certainly that is not a 100% guarantee, but I figure until we can prove one way or another that it was the best option.

You make a valid point about the tree but I have seen too many unique situations through 40+ years of bridge research to count out anything. There may have originally been a longer earthen approach on one end (there still is a marginal one on the South end of the current arches). If so, by 1929 they may have felt a wider channel was needed. Many crossings of the St. Joseph in Southern Michigan still feature these features.

Either way I knew you'd be excited to see a new CBW span! 😝

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

If the image is not of this crossing, the builder may be incorrect and the truss type may be incorrect but everything else should be OK for the entry.

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

BTW, I'm still stuck on this one. I have my doubts that the image is Ash Road. Note that there is a tree on the right side of the photo, and the photographer is shooting across the span suggesting this is a single span that is well under 200'

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

I was guessing 1879-1882. I saw then listing on ebay and the note on the back. If the note on the back is correct then I found this:

1883

High water caused by a quick February thaw in 1883 caused

considerable excitement in Osceola. On February 15, 1883, a huge ice gorge formed against the County Line [Ash Road] bridge over the St. Joseph River. Despite efforts of road crews to dynamite the jam, the old bridge was carried away. There was also considerable speculation about the Bancroft dam in the Baugo which was in serious danger also.

https://www.historymuseumsb.org/the-history-of-osceola-india...

So, we now know the Ash Road Bridge was built in 1883.

If this photo is truly Ash Road, it was built in 1883 meaning it was built after David Morrison passed away and Columbia Bridge Works was transitioning to Columbia Bridge Co. making it either one of the last CBWs or first CBCo. bridges. Stylistically, its CBW.

I look forward confirming that the note is correct.

Regards,

Art S.

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yes, they look to be similar to the floor beams on Tom's Run.

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

BTW, note the trussed floor beams.

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

NICE!

Ash Road Bridge (ca. 1880)
Posted September 20, 2021, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Here ya go Art!