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Water Street Bridge (1871)


Photo of collapse in 1871 of West span of Inverted Bowstring

Note that the cribbing is still in place. The collapse occurred a little after 7am on Friday, February 24th, 1871. Copy of photo from Morrison family archive

Photo uploaded by Art S.


View this photo at facebook.com

BH Photo #499350


Bridge completed in 1871 (built winter 1870 into spring of 1871) to replace a two span Burr arch covered that had been badly damaged in 1865 by a hurricane (or tornado) and patched together. West span collapsed during construction due to high winds, possibly a tornado a little after 7am on the morning of February 24th, 1871 killing Ben White, who was working on the bridge. The 1874 birds eye view map/drawing shows the two span inverted bowstring. The bridge was destroyed a little after 10am on October 17, 1884 by 'maintenance' performed by someone associated with P.E. Lane.


Lost Inverted bowstring through truss bridge over St. Joseph River on Water Street (Now LaSalle Ave.).
South Bend, St. Joseph County, Indiana
No longer exists
Built winter of 1870/71; Lost 1884
- Columbia Bridge Works of Dayton, Ohio (also known as)
- D.H. & C.C. Morrison of Dayton, Ohio [also known as Columbia Bridge Works]
Two span iron inverted bowstring through truss. Similar to the 1870 Main Street Bridge in Dayton Ohio.
Length of largest span: 130.0 ft.
Total length: 260.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+41.67909, -86.24913   (decimal degrees)
41°40'45" N, 86°14'57" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/562496/4614419 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 90441 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • May 25, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: corrected length based on span length of Darden Road Bridge
  • May 24, 2021: Updated by Art Suckewer: Updated details
  • August 31, 2020: New photo from Art Suckewer

Related Bridges 


  • Art Suckewer - Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com


Lasalle Avenue Bridge
Posted May 24, 2021, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Confirmed to be D.H. & C.C. Morrison AKA Columbia Bridge Works!

Lasalle Avenue Bridge
Posted August 31, 2020, by Art S. (Asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Interesting find while looking for something else!

I know I'm biased but, D.H & C.C. Morrison (Columbia Bridge Works) built bridges for the county and the design is similar to the four span Dayton, Ohio Main Street Bridge.

Any thoughts?


Art S.