This bridge is an excellent example of a bridge built by the Massillon Bridge Company. While Morrow County has been blessed with a large number of remaining metal truss bridges, pin-connected through truss bridges remain relatively uncommon in the county. This is an excellent example with good historic integrity.
Like many bridge builders of this period, Massillon Bridge Company built many different styles of bridges, and the designs changed over time as well. However, at the same time, these different designs were generally duplicated for different customers and needs. This explains why this bridge's details are very similar to the Stancer Road Bridge in Michigan.
The bridge retains original railing, which is composed of a rolled shape similar to a "W." The design appears to be unique to Massillon Bridge Company bridges, and appears on some other bridges built by the company. The railing design is noteworthy because while no other period bridge builders used the design, it anticipates thinking of future decades: that a railing should function as a "guard" or "guide" rail, and serve to guide and deflect errant vehicles, rather than ensnaring them as many railings used during this period would have done. While not massive enough to work effectively with today's vehicles, this railing would have functioned well when the bridge was built.
The Historic Bridge Inventory found the bridge ineligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. HistoricBridges.org's position is that any pin-connected through truss that has fair or better historic integrity should be considered eligible, given their rarity, both in the state and nationwide. No state retains a population of pin-connected through trusses great enough to justify writing off such bridges as non-historic. Furthermore, the ca. 1894 date suggested for this bridge (apparently based only on the style of the bridge) may well be inaccurate. Michigan's similar Stancer Road Bridge dated to 1888, and this bridge might also date to 1888. As such, the bridge should not be written off based on the 1894 date, since the 1894 date is speculation. Also, the bridge stands out among similar bridges due to its lack of alteration. Many bridges of this type have substantial alteration. This bridge has nearly none.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a 1 rural lane road over a stream in a rural area of active farms. The road is winding. Most of the plaque has been lost, but enough remains to prove that the bridge was fabricated by the Massillon Bridge Co.
The 1 span, 99'-long, pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is has early details that are indicative of its fabricator. The truss members are traditionally composed. The rolled beam lateral bracing and rod lateral bracing are connected at the upper panel points by circular collars. The end floorbeams are hung using eye bars. The portal bracing is lattice and is supported in part on cast iron brackets. The bridge appears to be complete. Vertical clearance is 12'-2".
Summary of Significance
The bridge is one of about 8 pin connected thru truss bridge, including early 1880s double intersection Pratt design examples, in the state fabricated by the Massillon Bridge Co., but its date of construction is
not documented. The circular collar for sway and lateral bracing at the upper panel point is a detail used from 1881 until at least 1900. The lattice bracing is a mid-1880s detail that also continued in use through the 19th century.
The bridge is a complete example of its type and design, and it dated ca. 1894 to reflect the middle of the documented population of similar bridges. It represents the Massillon Bridge Company's standardization of their thru truss
design. It is the early examples that are technologically significant.
The bridge is one of 57 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 is representative of the standardization of pin connected bridges and has moderate significance.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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This historic bridge has been demolished. This map is shown for reference purposes only.
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