2 votes

Blackwater River Bridge


Approach from the north

This cleared area north of the bridge was reportedly a gathering place for residents from the Black hamlet of Pennytown a couple of miles to the northwest.

Photo taken by Clark Vance in March 2019


BH Photo #444873


Abandoned truss bridge over Blackwater River on abandoned road
Saline County, Missouri
- Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co. of Leavenworth, Kansas
Pratt through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+38.98164, -93.13637   (decimal degrees)
38°58'54" N, 93°08'11" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
15/488188/4314748 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Land survey
T. 49 N., R. 20 W., Sec. 32
628 ft. above sea level
Inventory number
BH 69634 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • March 21, 2019: New photos from Clark Vance
  • March 2, 2017: Added by Clark Vance



Blackwater River Bridge
Posted June 20, 2019, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Yeah Clark, I was just looking closer at this one and the portal bracing looks like 1890's and not 1870's. I would expect the overall structure too be a little lighter looking as well. Makes me wonder if there wasn't an older span here that was replaced with this one... But he said he took it off of this one so idk.

Blackwater River Bridge
Posted March 21, 2019, by Clark Vance (cvance [at] dogmail [dot] com)

Some answers from a visit today but some questions as well. The plaque supposedly came from the end on the main span. The 1877 date seems early and doesn't match the concrete pier on the south end. I was told the approach on the north was riveted and arched. I tried to clarify whether the truss was a regular pony or a bowstring. I got answers that always pointed to it having been a bowstring. It was damaged and scrapped some years ago.

I'll add an essay on the history as recounted to me. More questions there as well.

Blackwater River Bridge
Posted May 1, 2017, by Tony Dillon (spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com)

Looks like a 7-panel Pratt... Nice find CV!

Blackwater River Bridge
Posted April 30, 2017, by Don Morrison


No visible traces of the road to it either. Bing shows a Lumber Lane that probably connected long ago.

Nice find.

Love mystery bridges.

"Oh I wish I had a pencil thin mustache

Then I could solve some mysteries too"

Blackwater River Bridge
Posted April 30, 2017, by Robert Elder (robertelder1 [at] gmail [dot] com)

This looks like a lightweight Pratt. Great find! It is always nice when a complete mystery bridge shows up.