This postcard submitted by Stefanie Laputz shows the original "Free Bridge."
BH Photo #103625
This is the remnants of the Warsaw Middle Bridge still in the Osage River. This is on the inside bend of the river on the Warsaw Missouri Side. Interesting the Square Blocks next to the road way. The first 3 images traveling from the north to the south show the remnants.
The bridge was, indeed demolished in the early eighties.
It was condemned in 1975 but was left standing for several years.
The first picture (postcard) may be the Eddy bridge. (pictures 1-7) The remaining photographs may be the bridge built in 1913 or it may be the Dice bridge. In any case, a person cannot take a picture in 1982 of a bridge that was destroyed in 1975.
The bridge shown in the color photograph is of the Upper bridge, not the Middle bridge. The upper bridge was built by Joe Dice, the Middle bridge was not. I first drove across both bridges in 1954, having grown up in Warsaw and walked overe both many times. The black and white photographs at the tip are of the Middle bridge. The upper bridge was on State Highway #35, later State highway #7. When going to college I worked on the Osage river for six years in the summers and ate lunch under the bridge shown in the color photograph many times.
Just a quick update on the Joe Dice Swinging Bridge aka Warsaw Middle Bridge. Through grants obtain by the City of Warsaw, Phase I of the bridge rehabilitation has been completed and the bridge will be reopened to foot traffic on July 1, 2007. Planning has begun for Phase II which will be for painting and lighting the bridge. This bridge will be a part of a walking and biking trail system that is currently underway.
I lived in Warsaw during the mid 60's and have been over this bridge a few times, mostly walking, but once with my stepfather with a load of lumber in the back of a pickup truck. Can't tell you how scared a 10 year old boy was in a loaded truck going over a condemned bridge.
As a child I can remember going accross the Warsaw Middle Bridge on several occassions before it was closed down. After it closed it was a favorite fishing spot for my father and us kids. The grounds around the bridge was one of the best places Ive ever seen to dig for NightCrawlers!! Thanks for the memories!!
Thanks for the book recommendation. I'll be sure to check it out!
Stefanie. If you want to know more about the swingining bridges in the Warsaw area, there is a book written by Robert Hayden. The Kansas City Public Library has it and I've checked it out by inter-library loan through my local public library.
It was published around 1979 or 1980. Mr. Hayden wanted to preserve the history of those bridges since, by that time most of them (except for the Upper and Middle Bridges in Warsaw) had been torn down to make way for Truman Lake.
There a few pictures and drawings and some neat history and interviews packed in that book.
My dad's family is from that area. My grandparents lived just north of Mt. Zion until I was six years old. I'd been across the Upper Bridge quite a few times before it was closed to traffic. When my grandparents sold their farm, we didn't have to go through Warsaw or cross that bridge anymore. Much to my mom's delight!
I think it's because of my memories of that area that I have such a fascination and appreciation for just about any type of old bridge.
Hi Darrin! I'm glad you liked the postcard. I was happy to send it in to the website and find out the history of the bridge.
My family is all from mid-Missouri. I found the postcard in a very old photo album that belonged to my step-grandfather. The postmark stamp on the back is 1908.
First of all. . .Thank you Stefanie for sending in that postcard. I'm always glad to see the Warsaw area swinging bridges on the Internet.
Stefanie, do you live in that area or have relatives who did? Just curious how you managed to get your hands on that postcard.