This semicircular stone arch bridge has four spans of decent length and rise. The bridge is also largely unaltered aside from some areas of concrete repair, particularly on top of the railings, and around the base of the piers. Despite these changes, the bridge retains most of its original materials and design. It has enough historic integrity and is large enough in the context of Indiana to be appropriately considered one of the larger and better examples of a stone arch bridge in Indiana.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
This bridge follows the conventions used with most of the several dozen stone arches built in the state's south-central counties and is typical of the majority of those extant in Ripley County. The structure is unusually long and the number of spans remarkably great.
Local craftsmen built most of Indiana's stone arches from regional materials just before or in the first two decades of the 20th Century. Following a few simple rules of thumb that had evolved since Roman days,
stonemasons erected full-centered or semicircular arches in which the line of pressure passes through the center of each stone in the arch ring until carried vertically into the substructure. Most of the state's stone arches span
streams in south-central counties. Ripley County has the second largest number extant. By World War I, the growing popularity of concrete, which engineers could readily adjust to the special needs of each specific bridge site,
quietly ended most stone arch construction in the region.
In a June 1909 letting, Henry Harmon beat out Degolier & Demariel for the contract to build the stone arches over Raccoon Creek near Friendship. Harmon's bid was $3,800, some $294 below his competitors. The
contractor received periodic payments for construction throughout the fall and appears to have completed his work by the end of the year.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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