A former classmate who lives in Steffenville to the north says the locals have called this bridge the following names; "Mesmers Bridge, Deacons Bridge and Deacon Mesmer Bridge after the guy who lived on the hill next to it."
I did a PS9 crop & invert from my postcard and the answer appears to be "The Massillon Bridge Company" built the bridge in LaGrange. Good guess guys.....
Tony & Nathan, et al, I will go back & take a closer look at my hi-res scan to see if there's enough detail to determine builder, etc. or post the sign itself.
I noticed that on the old postcard pic as well Nathan.
Funny though because Massillon certainly isn't noted for building Camelbacks.
The plaque on the below bridge looks like a Massillon Bridge Company plaque...
As promised here is a RPPC (real photo postcard) of the original bridge over the Wyaconda River in LaGrange. The postmark on the back says Aug 29, 1911. The present bridge @ Shelby County bears a striking resemblance to this one at LaGrange. I hope this is helpful. Happy Bridge hunting to all B-).
My son & I visited & photographed this bridge late Monday afternoon [04-07-14]. What a great subject, took lots of pix including some panoramics that I like to stitch together later. It is worth the effort to get here. I did not drive across as there was one bad spot in the deck that was loose and besides the road from the south was washed out more than I cared to try to straddle with my car. We had a lot of rain in NE Missouri on Thursday & Friday and I was afraid we'd not make it close enough. However, the road was firm enough except in 3 places which we drove around. We drove in from the north, from Steffenville, MO.
You may be correct about this originally being the LaGrange Wyaconda bridge, I have recently obtained a nice RPPC postcard (frontal view) of the bridge @ LaGrange. (I grew up in LaGrange). I will try to get a good scan of it to share with you this week. Here is a lo-res jpg slight side shot of Camelback (looking southwest'ish, from the left side.) THX for the great website.
The Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory says that this bridge was built in 1899 and then moved here "from outside the county." However, it doesn't give any more details.
I have a couple postcard images showing a camelback bridge over the Wyaconda River near La Grange in Lewis County. This might be the same bridge, as La Grange is only about 20 miles from here.
The details are the same: the panel configuration, portal bracing, cresting, and overhead bracing. The color postcard shows telegraph lines attached to the bridge. I noticed that a couple of insulators are still hanging from the current bridge, so even that detail matches. The only things missing are the decorative finials on top of the endposts and the plaques, but it's pretty common for those to be stolen or lost during relocation.
The bridge inventory says this bridge was determined non-eligible for the National Register (as of 1992), but I suspect that would be different now. If this bridge was built in 1899, it's almost certainly the oldest camelback through truss in Missouri.
Slight correction to previous comment. The final sentence should read "...were probably built by three different companies..." I have not seen curved portal bracing on a Missouri Valley Bridge and Iron structure.
I have seen similar cresting on a couple other bridges.
The preserved Forrestville Bridge in Fillmore Co. Minnesota
and the Vedigris River Bridge in Wilson Co. Kansas (status unknown)
All three of these bridges were built by different companies, and thus the cresting is not exactly identical.
I have seen cresting like that before........If I could just remember where.
Oh.....the things we do for the ultimate prize!
Nathan, it's probably just as well that you didn't try to visit this bridge. The roads on either end are unmaintained dirt roads, and they were particularly nasty thanks to recent rains.
I first tried approaching from the southwest. I parked where the gravel road ended and hiked down a steep hill, only to find that the "road" continued another quarter-mile through an awful quagmire.
Later in the day (hoping that the mud had firmed up a bit), I tried approaching from the east. This road wasn't quite as bad, but was still a mess. I had to hike the last quarter-mile in rubber boots, and it wasn't fun (especially since a thunderstorm was rapidly approaching).
I spent way too much time driving and hiking to reach this bridge. Not recommended during wet weather!
Wow, this is a nice bridge. I documented a couple of the bedsteads in this county last summer, but unfortunately not this bridge. Wish I had.