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Calloway's Ford Bridge


Pre 1923 photo

BH Photo #471817




Did you know that there was once a suspension bridge over the Whitewater River on Suspension Bridge Road?

It had been an actual suspension bridge, now we know how this road got its name! This is its history is in chronological order.

1866 - The commissioners of Hamilton County authorized to build a bridge across the Whitewater River at "Calloway's Ford". On March 16, 1867, this act became lawful.

October 26, 1869 - A dinner with 200 picnickers was held on the new bridge at "Calloway's Ford".

Some interesting notes: The bridge cost $145,000. The length of the span was 475' and the length of the floor was 600' 5". The towers rose 69', while height above the floor was45'. Overall, each tower was 114' in height and were made of hewn stone. The number of strands in the cable was 1,976. The length of wire was 600 miles. The diameter of cable was 7" and the type of wire used was English charcoal iron. The strength of the cable was 700 tons and each cable weighed 70,000 lbs. The length of each cable was 730'. The width of the bridge was 22' and the thickness of the floor was 5 1/2" of solid oak. The floor had 7,500 bolts in it. The architects and contractors were Gray, Morse, & Young.

August 10, 1876 - Taylor Coghlan and his adjutant, Will Hughes gave the cables a fresh coat of white paint.

March 28, 1881 - An act was passed to authorize commissioners to levy a tax to construct an approach on the last end of the bridge.

December 10, 1891 - Calloway's bridge is named Harrison's Suspension Bridge.

1913 - This was the only bridge on the Whitewater River left after the great flood; including Brookville, New Trenton, Harrison and Lost Bridge in E-town. Crossing this Suspension Bridge was the main thoroughfare from Indiana into Ohio for many years. (US 50 was not completed then).

1920 - It was decided that the Suspension Bridge had become obsolete and could no longer safely withstand the weight of vehicles.

May 19, 1920 - The cables were severed by means of an oxygen flame, the weight of the cables pulled down some towers. Other towers were weakened by dynamite at their bases and later they were pulled down by the weight of the cables severed at one end with an oxygen flame. This was the last rural suspension bridge in Hamilton, County, Ohio.

1920 - A new bridge began construction. It was a four span structure, two of which were steel trusses. This bridge was removed in 1983.

In 1984 the present bridge, (which is the third at this location) was constructed. Frantz brothers of Sidney, Ohio were awarded a contract for $1,018,172 by the Ohio Department of Transportation to replace the super structure of the bridge. Three new portions were built and portions of the old abutments were replaced.

The bases of the original abutments from 1869 are still being used today.

Facts supplied by Marjorie Byrnside Burress


Lost Wire suspension bridge over Whitewater River on Suspension Bridge Road
Hamilton County, Ohio
Replaced by a new bridge
Built between 1867-1869; Replaced 1920
- Gray, Morse & Young
Wire/cable suspension
Length of largest span: 450.0 ft.
Total length: 600.0 ft.
Deck width: 22.0 ft.
Also called
Harrison's Suspension Bridge
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.18303, -84.79257   (decimal degrees)
39°10'59" N, 84°47'33" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
16/690661/4339409 (zone/easting/northing)
Inventory number
BH 89220 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • November 11, 2020: New photo from Geoff Hubbs
  • May 8, 2020: New photo from Tony Dillon

Related Bridges 


  • Tony Dillon - spansaver [at] hotmail [dot] com
  • Geoff Hubbs


Calloway's Ford Bridge
Posted November 12, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)

Thanks Geoff.

If I find my other pics of this span I'll post them.

As a side note: I think both were designed by Washington Roebling and the wire was supplied by Roebling but different builders put them up.


Art S.

Calloway's Ford Bridge
Posted November 11, 2020, by Geoff Hubbs (geoffrey [dot] hubbs [at] att [dot] net)

Thanks Art, it's fixed.

Calloway's Ford Bridge
Posted November 11, 2020, by Art S. (asuckewer [at] knite [dot] com)


Your picture is a great one but its of BH89222 the Harrison Suspension Bridge.


Art S.