Originally published by the Beacon Evening News; Used under Fair Use
BH Photo #416950
Luke, I found the photo you added on the Beacon Historical Society Facebook page. I can't add a link because I do not have a Facebook account.
Chester & Luke,
Here is an example of a Cooper's bridge: https://www.eriecanal.org/CedarBay.html (its listed here and on Nathan's site as well). The design of the verticals is different on the other bridge; I expect the Churchill Street bridge is earlier.
Cooper used Phoenix Column sections in his design and I suspect that is the source of the 1862 date and builder as the Phoenix Columns have the Phoenix brand and patent date of 1862 on them.
Although I'm not 100% certain yet, in my opinion its an early 1870's version of Cooper's design possibly made by Melvin A. Nash.
The Facebook page I'd referenced (But have since lost the URL for.) for the builder referred to the SIA article as a source.
Build date came from the newspaper article, so I don't doubt that it's in error.
And given the time frame it would've been Phoenix Iron Works IIRC.
Phoenix Bridge Company--1884-1901
(Directory of American Bridge-Building Companies)
Based on the picture, Iíd say Nathan is right and itís a Cooper (he used Phoenix Columns in his design). If so, and based on Nathanís prior post, you are right that it was made within a few years of Tioronda.
The on-going discussion of this bridge's lineage reminded me of an article in the SIA Newsletter at the time of its removal. Clipped from the issue of Jan-Mar 1979, it is attached. While its build date is still in question, it does establish the builder as Phoenix Bridge.
It definitely did!
I generally agree that it isnít a reliable source, I personally do my best to stay away from the media (though it is entertaining if they try to say my last name on air :^) ) but often the the older articles that Melissa finds are surprisingly accurate. Anyway, itís a starting point.
Not a chance regarding the builder. I opened with that idea; Nathan promptly put a fork in it. Melissaís second picture confirmed that tubular arch design doesnít match Reznerís. Regarding build date, maybe. So far the newspaper article says 1862 but we have no idea regarding the source/accuracy.
Regards to all,
I have found with newspaper articles that anytime a date or length is given it is more times than not questionable. I often think they get it from someone who doesn't really know or they "Guesstimate".
Art, I hoped another photo would help !
Melissa's new picture (Thanks Melissa!) does suggest Cooper and Phoenix Columns for the arch structure. However, the webbing is different than the other Cooper I am aware of.
The 1862 date comes from Melissa's article. Its possible the author of the article was bad at math and the bridge wasn't 116 years old in 1978...
When I first looked at Carlton, it was listed as 1898 here and in the official records. After a little homework, the correct date of 1888 was determined. So, for now, the only info we have points to 1862. If more info comes to light, it may confirm or contradict this date.
I suspect the webbing configuration will lead us to the maker.
Visually, Cooper is what popped into my head, but I don't believe those bridges were built that long ago either. The patent dates to 1872 with a few bridges predating that by about 1-2 years, so honestly I just don't think there is enough evidence to make any guess at this point, more information is needed. My opinion is its a bridge best listed as builder unknown for the time being. HAER Documentation cites that in New York State a variety of propriety designs were built in the late 1860s and early 1870s in the state.
It was listed as a Phoenix Bridge Co. I have significant doubts. I marked it as Rezner due to certain similarities but concede that it isn't. You know the patents and builders well, it strikes me as an early regional design (maybe early version of Cooper's work?). Who do you think it is?
This bridge was built in 1862. The first Rezner patent is 1867. Also, the top chord is polygonal. This does not match other Rezner design bridges. Also, Dr. William Boal Rezner served in the 6th Ohio Volunteer Cavalry as Chief Surgeon of his brigade. His service began in 1861 and lasted 4 years. And while I have not been able to determine when he began building bridges, I think its safe to question Rezner as builder of this bridge while he was serving in other capacities.