1 vote

Yellow Bank Church Campground Bridge


View of approach, with Thacher span in the background

The spiral approach is built to resemble the Hastings Spiral Bridge span demolished in 1951.

Photo taken by Matthew Lohry in June 2010


BH Photo #167270


This unique and beautiful structure is one of those bridges that must be physically seen to be appreciated. This rare and historic bridge was removed from its original location and relocated to a private historical park just south of Hastings, MN, in Dakota County. The current owner used this bridge to replicate the main span of the famous Hastings Spiral Bridge that once crossed the Mississippi River just east of the current U.S. 61 bridge. A spiral approach that resembles the original was added to the south end of the bridge. The spiral is amazing, but the main span is even more. This is one of only a handful of known Thacher truss bridges to exist in the United States, with one, the Castillo Crossing Bridge, in Colorado, two in Iowa, one in Virginia, and possibly others. Other than its unique truss configuration, the most distinguishing feature of this bridge is its upper chord. The built-up chord's flat panels make up the top and bottom of the chord, while V-lacing makes up either side--normally, it's the other way around. This appears to be a design feature unique to the King Brige Company. The center connections on the upper chord consist of bolted-and-nutted plates rather than pinned connections, and appear to be original. The bridge's original railings, most likely metal lattice or similar, have been replaced with wood. The latticed portals and knee bracing are signature King Bridge Company features. The upper sway bracing consists of crossed rods with turnbuckles and a central built-up double angle member. The timber deck is most likely not original, but is beautifully weathered and looks appropriate on the bridge. The bridge retains its original floor beams, but it looks like the wood stringers have been replaced. This bridge is nearly identical to the Ellsworth Ranch Bridge in Emmet County, Iowa, which is only 2 years newer and also built by the King Bridge Company, and is featured on Nathan Holth's excellent website. The only difference that I can see between the two bridges is the floor beams. This bridge features tapered floor beams more typical of pre-1900 bridges, while the Iowa bridge has straight double-flange beams. The bridge is located in what looks like a park that is set up to resemble old Hastings, and the bridge and its unique approach are a perfect complement to the park's theme. The photos were taken from 220th Avenue.


Thacher through truss bridge over Yellow Bank River on TWP 76
Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota
Open to pedestrians
Future prospects
Relocated to Hastings, MN
Built 1893 by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio; relocated to Dakota County
- King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
- Milo A. Adams of Minneapolis, Minnesota (Agent)
Thacher through truss
Posted to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989
Approximate latitude, longitude
+45.22654, -96.35412   (decimal degrees)
45°13'36" N, 96°21'15" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
14/707712/5011522 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory numbers
NRHP 89001831 (National Register of Historic Places reference number)
BH 45468 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • October 15, 2013: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added agent.
  • June 7, 2010: Added by Matthew Lohry

Related Bridges 



Yellow Bank Church Campground Bridge
Posted April 25, 2016, by Frank Steffen (fwscg04 [at] gmail [dot] com)

My family and members of our church would go to the yellow bank campground every summer for services and picnics; there was a gravel rd that led from Hwy 75 to the bridge that crossed over the Yellow Bank river. (that road was flooded when they built the dam & spillway on the Minnesota River nearby there). Have fond memories of walking on, and playing on that bridge.

Yellow Bank Church Campground Bridge
Posted June 8, 2010, by Matthew Lohry (matthewlohry [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I looked at the Street View of CR40 in Lac Qui Parle County where Township Road 76 used to lead to this bridge, and there is virtually no sign that a roadway ever existed--I used the clock function on Google Earth to find the bridge's location. It was removed and relocated, but was never replaced.

Yellow Bank Church Campground Bridge
Posted June 8, 2010, by Spanfan

Whoops! Never mind-this was the Yellow Bank bridge that was brought to the Pioneer Days grounds to help re-create the Spiral Bridge. My apologies!!

Yellow Bank Church Campground Bridge
Posted June 8, 2010, by Spanfan

I hate to say this, but to me this looks like the replica of the Hastings Spiral Bridge that is on the Pioneer Days grounds just south of Hastings. I was just there last year & this looks exactly like it.

Yellow Bank Church Campground Bridge
Posted June 8, 2010, by Jason Smith (JDSmith77 [at] gmx [dot] net)

In response to the Thacher bridge comment, a small correction to pass along to you:

There is only one Thacher bridge in Iowa, which is the Ellsworth Ranch Bridge (I photographed the bridge and is also posted on the Bridgehunter website as well)

There was also one in South Dakota in Hamlin County, which is also on this website. Both of them are closed to traffic and in place.

The one in Virginia exists but a new bridge is being built along side this one.

Costilla Crossing (the only 2-span Thacher) is now a pedestrian bridge

And there was one in Parshallburg, Michigan, which despite being rehabilitated and opened to pedestrian traffic, was destroyed by an ice jam and flooding in 2008.

In all reality, we now have five left in the country, although there was one in Floyd Co. Iowa, which was the fanciest of the Thacher truss bridges but was sadly removed over 3 decades ago.

Some interesting facts worth chewing on. ;-) Excellent photos, BTW.