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Shawnee Bridge (1898)

Photos 

Circa 1913

Old postcard View

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BH Photo #450698

Map 

Description 

Built to replace 2 spans of the 1886 structure which were destroyed in a flood.

Facts 

Overview
Lost Bridge over Great Miami River on Main Street
Location
Piqua, Miami County, Ohio
Status
Replaced by a new bridge
History
Built in 1898 to replace two spans of the three span 1886 bridge. Survived the 1913 flood which destroyed the east (1886) span. A temporary east span was reopened the crossing until the bridge was completely replaced in 1915.
Builders
- Canton Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio (West span)
- Columbia Bridge Co. (East span)
Design
10-panel, pinned Pratt through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+40.14565, -84.23843   (decimal degrees)
40°08'44" N, 84°14'18" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/735241/4447579 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 85675 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Categories 

19th Century (7,254)
Built 1898 (299)
Built during 1890s (2,895)
Canton Bridge Co. (188)
Columbia Bridge Co. (5)
Lost (23,618)
Lost 1915 (40)
Lost during 1910s (462)
Miami County, Ohio (62)
Ohio (3,301)
Owned by state (15,601)
Piqua, Ohio (14)
Pratt through truss (5,240)
Pratt truss (9,072)
Replaced by new bridge (15,769)
Through truss (14,638)
Truss (32,111)

Update Log 

  • June 30, 2020: Updated by Art Suckewer: added to description
  • June 29, 2020: Updated by Tony Dillon: Added truss type
  • June 29, 2020: New photo from Melissa Brand-Welch
  • June 28, 2020: New photo from Art Suckewer
  • June 24, 2019: New photo from Dana and Kay Klein

Sources 

Comments 

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Smith Bridge Company was originally from Miami County (Tipp City) and were very experimental with their early iron trusses. A lot of those I suspect are yet to be found. I'm certainly not saying you're wrong and that it's not a CBW, I would just like to see more substantial proof than a twisted pile of metal.

Shwanee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

I forgot to mention; I think you may be a bit conservative regarding CBW in Miami County. I suspect they were prolific in the county but since they were early, most of their spans were replaced early and are presently undocumented. Bridgehunter has one confirmed CBW, a Pratt through truss, still standing. I've crossed it!

Regards,

Art S.

Shwanee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Tony,

I don't know where it stood, but the remains in image #2 are a CBW. I wish they weren't.

Melissa,

That's great news, not bad news! Thank you for chasing this down! We now know the span that is standing in images 1, 3 & 4 was built by Canton Bridge Company in 1898 to replace two prior spans that collapsed together with a failed pier.

If you want to continue and reveal the complete story, I suspect the prior spans date from 1867 - 1883 ish. I suspect the build year of the prior bridge will be in an article written within a week of the destruction of the two spans the 1898 Canton span replaced.

Great work!

Art S.

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Not bad news at all Melissa, in fact it's your normal excellent job of tracking stuff down!

Canton makes sense as well for the 1898 span. They also sometimes featured built-up portals and round finials. It would be nice to find a pic of a CBW span, if it indeed occupied that empty space.

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

I am the Bearer of Bad News

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Anything is a possibility Art, but also an assumption without documentation as proof. I have little doubt that CBW built a structure or two in Miami County, hopefully we can eventually unlock the answers.

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, I've also been looking for any information on builders/CBW for this bridge. No information yet.

Shwanee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Melissa,

I wouldn't take your opinion as rude or sarcastic however, I think I disagree with you and Tony. I think the span shown still standing in images 1, 3 & 4 is the 1898 span, possibly/probably built by Bellefontaine as Tony suggests. But it didn't wash away in the 1913 floods but was replaced in the subsequent reconstruction of the crossing.

Melissa & Tony,

My interpretation of the articles (still love that a newspaper was called the 'Helmet'!) is that two spans were washed out in 1898 when the pier between them washed away.

Rather than replace the pier and the two spans 'in kind' they eliminated the lost pier with one long span.

The span still standing in images 1, 3 & 4 is likely this 1898 span. This remaining span is resting on a pier, not an abutment. So, it looks like at least one span washed away in 1913.

This would suggest that either more than one span was installed in 1898 or, more likely, the spans not washed away in 1898 were washed away in 1913. If this is the case, the image #2 photo makes sense. Also, this allows all of the photos to add up. This would mean that the prior bridge was a 3+ span CBW with two spans lost in 1898 and one or more lost in 1913.

Regards,

Art S.

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

I would have to agree with Melissa. I'm not sure what to make of pic #2, but it obviously doesn't fit in with the other ones. A solid possibility for the builder of the 1898 bridge (which I believe is the one in pics 1,3,and 4) is the Bellefontaine Bridge & Iron Company. They were very active in the late 1890's, and some of their bridges featured heavy portal bracing... and most had round finials. Check out pic #9 of the Indiana Avenue Bridge in Goshen, IN before the portals were altered:

http://bridgehunter.com/in/elkhart/indiana-avenue/

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

Art, I would think the bridge built in 1898 was the one that washed away in 1913. Not being rude or sarcastic.

Shwanee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

The reason I ask: the remains in image 2 are 1/4 mile downstream. Lots of bridges were lost. Those may not be from this bridge.

Shwanee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Progress!

Now, did the old or new span wash away in 1913?

Regards,

Art S.

Shawnee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 29, 2020, by Melissa Brand-Welch (melissabrandwelch [at] msn [dot] com)

The Miami Helmet

March 31 1898

Shwanee Bridge (Older)
Posted June 28, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

More CBW mysteries.

Image 2 is the wreck of a Columbia Bridge Works product. Image 3 leaves the possibility open that this span is CBW - note the finial on the right end of the span - but doesn't have the overall feel of one. Image 4 says highly unlikely.

Any thoughts?

Regards,

Art S.