This bridge retains excellent historic integrity, including builder plaques, decorative finials, and original railings. The few alterations present on the bridge are minimal and could be corrected as part of a restoration project. For this reason, the CR-241 Bridge is a significant example of the bridge type that was the standard for the late 19th century, the pin-connected truss bridge. It is a great example of a typical Canton Bridge Company through truss bridge, and its design details are similar to other bridges built by the company. It is noted for its decorative finials, a rare detail on a rural bridge.
This bridge was replaced by a new bridge in 2009. However, thanks in part to efforts by Vern Mesler, the man behind the restorations of the truss bridges in Michigan's Historic Bridge Park, this bridge was relocated a short distance to a park where it stands as an exhibit in the park. Thus the bridge is a noteworthy example of a preserved metal truss bridge in Ohio. The relocation of this bridge was accomplished in an unusual manner. Instead of picking the bridge with one or more cranes, the bridge was moved the way houses are often moved, by rolling it back off the river on wheels.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a 2 lane road over a stream in a sparsely developed, rural setting. The road provides access to the River Bend Recreation Area from SR 568.
The 1 span, 124'-long, pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is traditionally composed of built-up compression members and eyebar or rod tension members. The upper chords are toe-out channels with cover plate and lacing. The verticals are toe-out channels with lacing. It has A-frame portals complete with ball finials and builder's plaque. There are lattice railings. The bridge has rolled floorbeams supported from the lower-chord pins by U-shaped hangers. The bridge is supported on stone abutments with concrete caps.
Floorbeam hanger connection in end panels has been altered by welded box strengthening, otherwise it has integrity of original design. One of four finials is missing.
Summary of Significance
The 1895 pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is technologically significant as a complete example of its type/design by a prominent Ohio fabricator (Criterion C). It is 1 of 5 identified examples of the
pin-connected Pratt by this builder dating from 1886 to 1910, and the only example of a thru truss (the other 4 are pony trusses). The Canton Bridge Company was established in 1876, but apparently struggled financially and was
reorganized in 1891. One of the original 1891 stockholders was David Hammond, the founder of Canton's larger and better-known fabricator, the Wrought Iron Bridge Company in 1866. The Canton Bridge Company was not an innovator in
Pratt truss-bridge design but was perhaps best known for its successful sales network with offices in major cities from the Northeast to the Midwest with the offices headed by relatives or close associates of David Hammond. In 1901,
the company erected over 800 bridges and claimed to have fabricated 25% of all highway bridges built in Ohio that year. The company remained in operation through at least the mid-1910s.
The bridge is one of over 150 extant pin-connected truss bridges dating from 1874 for pony trusses and 1876 for thru trusses. Twenty six predate 1888 and represent the era of experimentation that evolved into standardized designs by about 1888. This example has moderate significance because the genre and the fabricator are so well represented in Ohio.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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