View To East
HAER photos taken Oct. 1986 by James Dale Roach
Photo taken by Historic American Engineering Record
View photos at Library of Congress
BH Photo #123745
Article from the 1986 edition of the Old Settlers Gazette
The musical duo, Brewer & Shipley, mostly known for their big 1971 hit "One Toke Over The Line," released an album in 1975 called Welcome To Riddle Bridge. The cover of the album is a drawing of Michael Brewer & Tom Shipley standing on what I assume is the bridge. On the inside paper sleeve is a photo of the wooden sign saying "Welcome to Riddle Bridge - Gasconade River - Public Fishing Access - Missouri Conservation Department"
My grandparents farmed the Holtsman farm on either side of the bridge for many years. When driving a herd of cattle across the bridge, it would sway from side to side. For years it had only the horizontal planks for decking and when following another vehicle, one would see the heavy planks bouncing up and down. It was deemed so usafe, that children (my brother and I being two of them) on the west side of the river were bussed back to St. Robert, then east to highway 28, and back north to Dixon. Willie Alexander attempted to haul a load of cattle across it one time, resulting in the collapse of the western approach. I think it was at that time that the county decided to install parallel drive planks across the horizontal planks. For me, that old, rattley,rusted iron bridge will always be The Riddle Bridge.
The Riddle Bridge was named for the Riddle family of TN and MO who lived on a farm near the site. The Riddle Family Cemetery is located nearby. Thank you for making these pictures available.