This is a traditionally composed example of a pin-connected Pratt through truss, built by a noteworthy in-state builder.
Information and Findings From DHPA Historic Bridge Survey
Statement of Significance
In September 1897, J. D. Wilson and others petitioned the county commissioners to build a bridge at the "old Royster ford." Robert Royster had owned the land to the east of Deer Creek well before 1874 by which date Wilson already had an established farm on the west side of the long-used ford. Before November the commissioners advertised for bids for a bridge there. Craver Smith and James M. Peirce secured the contract for the "stone masonry" with the "lowest and best bid." The Lafayette Bridge Company beat out its Wabash Bridge competitor with a bid for $2,499 for the superstructure. J. D. Wilson, who oversaw the work, certified the satisfactory completion of the stone abutments by year's end, at which point the commissioners contracted with John C. O'Connor for the earthen approaches. Although the new span was in place by April 1898, the fill to the east was apparently still not complete -- according to a complaining petition -- in 1901. A variety of posts or verticals subdivide each 188-foot Pratt through-truss into seven 17-foot panels. A pair of eyebars serve as hip-verticals or hangers; the intermediate ones consist of two sizes of laced channels. Eyebars provide the diagonals: pairs stretch toward midspan from the top panel point to the bottom of all except the end-post panels; a cylindrical eyebar with a turnbuckle counters the others in the 3rd and 5th panels and adjustable pairs cross the 4th or central panel. U-bolted to the lower pins, I floor-beams carry the 16-foot asphalt deck with 14 feet of vertical roadway clearance. Two well-known county masons/contractors built the now concrete-encased stone substructure and the approaches of the bridge which spans a crossing of Deer Creek so long and much used as a ford that it was identified as such in the 1874 county atlas and was marked as a crossing in the 1876 state one. A prolific Indiana firm fabricated the superstructure following fairly conventional patterns for a pinned Pratt of the period. The bridge retains its original truss members and its decoratively latticed guardrails. Other bridge names: Wilson Ford Bridge, Royster Ford Bridge
References Charles J. Ritzler, Bridge Inspection Report: Carroll County (Delphi, 1974-1975). Rumschlag Technical Services, Carroll County Bridge Inventory & Appraisal Report (Brownsburg, 2006). bridge nameplate. Indiana Historic Sites & Structures Inventory, Carroll County: Interim Report (Indianapolis, 1980), 41, 45. Carroll County, "Commissioners Record," 19: 485, 487, 512-13, 556; 20: 16; "Commissioners Papers."
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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