7 votes

Sycamore Mills Bridge



State historical records state that this bridge is probably the only extant fixed wrought iron cable stayed bridge in America

Photo taken by James McCray


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BH Photo #149438


Street View 


Abandoned cable-stayed bridge over Sycamore Creek on an abandoned county road once used to service Sycamore Mills
Cheatham County, Tennessee
Abandoned, but nearby residents have constructed a patio deck on the western end of the bridge.
Built 1891. Perhaps the only 19th Century fixed wrought iron cable stayed bridge in America.
- Eugene Castner Lewis
The state historic records, Tennessee's Survey Report for Historic Highway Bridges (Carver),state that this bridge is a cable stayed bridge. One can also debate that this bridge is an eye-bar suspension bridge.
Total length: 140.0 ft.
Deck width: 12.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+36.32250, -87.05122   (decimal degrees)
36°19'21" N, 87°03'04" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/495402/4019720 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Ashland City
Inventory number
BH 43640 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • August 12, 2011: New Street View added by James McCray
  • June 13, 2011: Updated by Nathan Holth: Added Length
  • March 13, 2010: New photos from James McCray
  • February 23, 2010: New photos from J.P.
  • November 17, 2009: Added by James McCray


  • James McCray - jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com
  • J.P. - wildcatjon2000 [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Nathan Holth


Sycamore Mills Bridge
Posted February 23, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Interestingly, it is stylistically similar the Ponte Morandi in Genoa Italy, which collapsed a few years ago. The Ponte Morandi was considered a novel design when built. Obviously not. And the folks in TN built one that lasted longer...

Sycamore Mills Bridge
Posted February 22, 2020, by Brittany

Also the patio deck is no longer there.

Sycamore Mills Bridge
Posted February 22, 2020, by Brittany

Came across this bridge today. Absolutely amazing.

Sycamore Mills Bridge
Posted February 16, 2015, by Nathan Holth (webmaster [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

Photo with the bridge still retaining its deck.


Sycamore Mills Bridge
Posted August 13, 2011, by Luke Harden (lmharden [at] iastate [dot] edu)

That is an interesting way to reuse a bridge.

Sycamore Mills Bridge
Posted November 17, 2009, by Nathan Holth (form3 [at] historicbridges [dot] org)

The bridge is indeed a stayed bridge and is not a suspension bridge. However, since cable and eyebar suspension bridges are traditionally differentiated as such in bridge conversation, the Tennessee Historic Bridge Inventory is being sloppy by not describing this bridge more accurately as an "eyebar-stayed" bridge. However, the inventory otherwise did a good and detailed job discussing the bridge within this document: http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/environment/historic/book/chapte...

The bridge's shape is similar to small-scale pin-connected cantilever truss bridges such as the Victoria Bridge in Kitchener, Ontario. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/11405657 but unlike those cantilever bridges, the Sycamore Mills Bridge lacks diagonal and vertical members and as such is not a truss.

This bridge is an extremely rare and significant bridge.

Sycamore Mills Bridge
Posted November 17, 2009, by James McCray (jamesinslocomb [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I came upon this bridge last Saturday while bridgehunting with a friend. This was a most unusual find since I cannot think of another bridge that is designed like this one. I have to post a question for discussion or debate: Is this bridge a "Cable Stayed" bridge at the state historical records indicate, or is this bridge a type of "Eye-bar" suspension bridge? Please comment.