With a proven construction date of 1883, this bridge is an extremely old surviving example of a Pratt pony truss. The bridge has been abandoned and is extremely overgrown. The bridge retains good historic integrity. However, it should be noted that the attractive riveted lattice railings on the bridge, while old, are not original to the bridge. They were likely salvaged from some other old bridge and placed on this bridge.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a short segment of unimproved, 1 lane road over a stream in a rural area of active farms. The bridge is closed.
The 1 span, 61'-long, pin-connected Pratt pony truss bridge is supported on ashlar abutments. The truss lines are traditionally composed, and they represent the standardization of details. Verticals are toe-out channels with lacing. There is some in kind replacement of members, but changes are minor.
Minor welded repairs
Summary of Significance
The pin connected Pratt pony truss bridge was placed by the Massillon Bridge Co. in 1883. It is one of 20 examples of the important bridge type in Morrow County with the oldest extant example dating to 1874.
Massillon Iron Bridge Company is believed to have been established by Joseph Davenport about 1869 to market his all-iron Howe truss bridges. It was incorporated as the Massillon Bridge Company in 1873. Davenport left the firm in
1875, but it went on to become one of the several successful and prolific metal truss bridge fabricators in the region selling standard-design, pin-connected bridges to counties throughout the Midwest. In 1903, Toledo interests
gained control of the company, and it was moved to Toledo and restyled the Toledo-Massillon Bridge Company. The business was moved back to Massillon in 1909, and they manufactured ships during World War I. It was acquired by the
Fort Pitt Bridge Company of Pittsburgh in 1930 or 1933. The works closed in 1943. There are over 25 Massillon Bridge Co. truss bridges remaining in Ohio (2009) with the largest concentration in Morrow County. This is the oldest
extant example of the firm's work in the county, and it is historically and technologically significant based on its age and association with the prolific instate fabricator.
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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