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Gillis Bridge

Photos 

Looking east

Photo taken by James Baughn in May 2010

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BH Photo #164379

Map 

Facts 

Overview
Bedstead pony truss bridge over Black Creek on CR 342
Location
Shelby County, Missouri
Status
Open to traffic
Future prospects
Available for adaptive reuse. Deadline for proposals is Oct. 1, 2018. See: http://www.modot.org/freebridges/GillisBridge.htm
History
Built 1908 by the Michelmann Steel Construction Co.
Builder
- Michelmann Steel Construction Co. of Quincy, Illinois
Design
Pin-connected, 5-panel Pratt bedstead pony truss
Dimensions
Length of largest span: 80.0 ft.
Total length: 81.0 ft.
Deck width: 11.8 ft.
Recognition
Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.76841, -91.97630   (decimal degrees)
39°46'06" N, 91°58'35" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/587677/4402555 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Burksville
Land survey
T. 57 N., R. 10 W., Sec. 2
Average daily traffic (as of 2016)
35
Inventory numbers
MO 102-321001.2 (Missouri off-system bridge number)
MONBI 21737 (Missouri bridge number on the National Bridge Inventory)
BH 22549 (Bridgehunter.com ID)
Inspection report (as of March 2016)
Overall condition: Poor
Superstructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Poor (4 out of 9)
Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 21.7 (out of 100)
View more at BridgeReports.com

Update Log 

  • May 29, 2018: Updated by James Baughn: Bridge is available for adaptive reuse
  • December 11, 2017: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • November 30, 2017: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • June 22, 2015: New photos from K. Allen Ballard
  • May 6, 2010: New photos from James Baughn

Sources 

Comments 

This is not the Gillis Bridge
Posted June 6, 2018, by Rusty Weisman (Russell [dot] Weisman [at] Modot [dot] Mo [dot] Gov)

The 1996 FraserDesign Missouri Historic Bridge Inventory appears to be in error with respect to this bridge. The Gillis bridge built in 1908 was at Gillis Ford. That bridge replaced an earlier bridge at that location, built J. B. Clayville for $215 in 1896. Gillis ford is in the SW 1/4 Section 27, about 2.5 road miles SE of Shelbyville. The SW 1/4 of Sec 27 T58N R10W was owned by Mrs. W. D. Gillis in 1878 (Edwards Brothers 1878 Illustrated Atlas of Shelby County). This bridge is located closer to 5 road miles from Shelbyville in T57N R10W Sec 1-2. Newspaper accounts suggest that this bridge was built c. 1911-1912 following a petition to the county court in 1909 by the neighbors lead by neighboring landowner Charles F. Perrigo/Parigo (Hunnewell Graphic 12 Feb. 1909). January 1911 newspaper notices indicate that the county was willing to build a bridge at 'Graveyard ford' if the neighboring landowners would provide fill and haul it for free.

This location appears to have been known as both 'Baker ford' and 'Graveyard ford.' The land southeast of the ford was owned by J. R. Baker in 1878 and George E. Baker Jr. in 1902, thus accounting for the ‘Baker ford’ designation.

There is a small cemetery just south of the bridge on the east side of Black Creek that accounts for the references to this location as 'Graveyard ford'. That cemetery includes the marked grave of Thomas Jefferson Davis (d.1849) who was original owner of the 80 acres just north of the Bridge. The unmarked 1833 grave of Angus McDonald Holliday, the original owner of the land east of the bridge (SW 1/4 Sec 1) is also likely there, along with the grave of William T. Matson. Angus M. Holliday died in early June 1833 from cholera - contracted from his neighbor William T. Matson who had been in Palmyra when the 1833 epidemic broke out. Matson was returning to his nearby home on the west side of Black Creek from Palmyra but was unable to cross Black Creek at the ford due to high water. Matson stayed overnight with Holliday and died there the next morning. At Matson's burial, Angus Holliday fell ill with cholera and then he died the next day (History of Monroe and Shelby Counties, Missouri, 1884).

Gillis Bridge
Posted December 11, 2017, by K. Allen Ballard (speedeeprint [at] gmail [dot] com)

This is not far from my dentist in Shelbina, so I visit here somewhat frequently. Shot some video here this visit, bridge is very unique with its' tall sides and picturesque setting.