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Falling Rock Camp Iron Bridge

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Falling Rock Camp Iron Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: September 11, 2015

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Future Pedestrian Trail Over Rocky Fork
Rural: Licking County, Ohio: United States
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1872 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
65 Feet (19.7 Meters)
Structure Length
72 Feet (21.8 Meters)
Roadway Width
14.3 Feet (4.36 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

View Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) Documentation For This Bridge

HAER Drawings, PDF - HAER Data Pages, PDF

This is the only surviving Post type truss bridge in Ohio and one of only three known bridges of this type in Ohio. This is immediate national significance as an example of a rare experimental type of truss configuration characteristic of the earliest metal truss bridges. Additional national significance is derived from the fact that all compression members of this bridge are made of cast iron. It is one of the finest and most significant historic bridges in Ohio and the United States.

The bridge was built ca. 1872 and was relocated in 1927 and sometime at or after 1931. The 1931 move brought it to the Boy Scout Camp. More recently in 2012 the bridge has again moved. As of 2015, the bridge had been repainted in its new location, but no deck was present.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory


The bridge, which is closed with the deck removed, formerly provided an entrance to the Boy Scout's Camp Falling Rock. The setting is rural. There is a T-intersection with Rocky Fork Road at the bridge's east end. Beyond the west end of the bridge is the scout camp. The bridge is owned by the Boy Scouts.

Physical Description

The 1-span, 66'-long, Post truss bridge has had its deck removed and is slightly leaning toward its southwest corner due to the failure of the abutment. The truss lines are a rare Post-truss configuration with cast-iron compression members and wrought-iron tension members. The castings are a marvelous testament to the foundrymen's skill with special considerations made for how the members would be joined together using a combination of bolts, pins, and compression fittings. For a full description, see HAER OH-89.


The bridge was relocated here in 1931, but has had little modification since that time. The truss lines appear to be complete and unaltered. The Boy Scout's removed the bridge deck as a safety measure due to its deteriorated condition and the failure of the abutment. The abutment failure is jeopardizing the bridge's survival.

Summary of Significance

The bridge is a very rare example of a metal Post truss. The Post truss design, named after engineer Simeon Post, was popular during the 1860s and 1870s, and best known for its use with long-span railroad bridges. The design is distinguished by the slightly inclined verticals, which, according to Post, resulted in savings in material. Most Post trusses were combination timber and iron bridges, but they were also all-metal trusses representing the technologically significant transition from the era of wood trusses to that of cast and wrought-iron trusses. The only two other known metal Post trusses are in Lancaster, Massachusetts. The bridge is of exceptional technological and historical significance.


The truss design is very rare. It has exceptional significance.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes

This bridge is tagged with the following special condition(s): Cast Iron


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Maps and Links: Falling Rock Camp Iron Bridge

This bridge is located in the Falling Rock Boy Scout Camp.

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