This bridge appears to be one of the only (if not the only) surviving bridge built by the little-known Motherwell Iron and Steel Company of Logan, Ohio. It was relocated from Klump Road over Rush Creek and preserved for pedestrian use in a Logan park. The truss is traditionally composed overall, but with a couple unusual details. The Historic Bridge Inventory states that the upper lateral bracing was replaced. It looked like in reality some of the originals remain. There is an unusual lateral bracing connection at the center of the panels (due to the presence of an unusual longitudinal rod) and the eyes looked like original forged eyes. The method in which the upper laterals and struts connect to the top chord via a couple plates which hold it all together is somewhat unusual. The portal bracing is somewhat unusual as well, mainly composed of a member that is the same design as the vertical members. Usually, vertical members have little in common with the appearance of the portal bracing.
This bridge is an important surviving bridge from this bridge company that otherwise would have likely disappeared from memory. Some information found about the company is offered below.
Source: History of Hocking Valley, Ohio, 1883
Robert Motherwell, superintendent of the Motherwell Iron and Steel Company's works, was born near Glasgow, Scotland, Nov. 5, 1845, a son of Alexander and Jane Motherwell. When seventeen years of age he emigrated to America, landing in Portland, Me., April 26, 1863, remaining there till 1866. While in Scotland he learned the trade of a heavy blacksmith, and after coming to America, while in Portland, was employed in the Casco Bay Forge Works, on Government work. In 1866 he went to Pittsburg, Pa., and worked in the Reese, Graft & Buyers Rolling Mills till 1868, when he removed to Lancaster, Ohio, and with his brothers James and William founded the Motherwell Bros. Shovel and Spade Works. In 1881 he and his brother James came to Logan and founded the Motherwell Iron and Steel Works. Jan. 18, 1870, Mr. Motherwell married Louise Rich, of Lancaster, Ohio. They have six children-Hattie, Alice, Jennie, Lola, Grace and Mary. Mr. and Mrs. Motherwell are members of St. Peter's Lutheran Church, of Lancaster. He is a Master Mason, a member of the lodge in Lancaster.
The Motherwell Iron and Steel Company:
The well-known Motherwell works were originally established at Lancaster, Ohio, in 1867, by the three Motherwell brothers, James, Robert and William. The first products of the shop were shovels and scrapers, the firm name being "Motherwell Brothers." In 1874, the business having proved a success, the works were enlarged and a stock company formed under the incorporate name of the "Motherwell Iron Works." The business constantly increased, investments enlarged, and finally, in 1881, it was found that new and larger buildings would be required. About this time, the greater part of the stock being held by Logan capitalists, a reorganization of the company was effected under their present name in which L. A. Culver, Of Logan, was made president, and it was decided to build the new shops at this place. Accordingly, in the summer of 1582 the present buildings near the C., H. V. & T. Railway were built, in which were placed new and improved machinery. The machine-shop is a fine brick structure 200 x 50 feet in size and three stories high. Adjoining this is the engine-house, also of brick, the foundry, a bridge building 60 X 50 feet, a warehouse also 60x 50 feet, and an office building. These works produce agricultural implements to a considerable extent, but make a specialty of the manufacture of iron building materials, especially for court-houses and jails. These products find a market principally in the Western and Southwestern States. About forty men are employed at present in connection with these works, but their full capacity will require about seventy men. The establishment is superintended at present by Robert Motherwell.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a trail over a creek in a rural setting east of Logan at the county fairgrounds. It was formerly CR 84 (Klump Road) over Durber Run.
The 1 span, 86'-long, pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is traditionally composed of built-up compression members and eye-bar tension members.
Relocated to the bike trail ca. 1997. The floorbeams and upper lateral bracing were replaced.
Summary of Significance
The 1888 pin-connected Pratt truss bridge was a reserve pool bridge in the prior inventory. It is an early and significant example of its type/design by a local fabricator. The flooring system has been replaced, as has the portal bracing, but the truss lines themselves appear to maintain integrity of original design. Pratt trusses were undoubtedly the most popular truss design of the last quarter of the 19th century and continued to be built into the 20th century, although eventually superseded in popularity by Warren trusses. The design, which initially was a combination of wood compression and iron tension members, was patented in 1844 by Thomas & Caleb Pratt. Ohio has three covered bridges that use this combination configuration, but they are all modern reconstructions based on the Pratt patent. The great advantage of the Pratt over other designs was the relative ease of calculating the distribution of stresses. More significantly, it translated well into an all-metal design in lengths of less than 200'. Significant surviving examples of all-metal Pratt trusses mostly date to the last quarter of the 19th century, and they are found with thru, pony, and the less common bedstead configuration. Prior to about 1890, a variety of panel point connections were in widespread use (including bolts, cast-iron pieces, and pins), but engineering opinion was coalescing around pins as the most efficient and constructible. Many of the connection details were proprietary and associated with individual builders or companies, and thus earlier examples are generally taken to be technologically significant in showing the evolution of the design. Later post-1890 Pratt trusses show a progression toward less variation in their details such that by 1900 the design was quite formulaic with few significant differences between the designs of various builders. This marked the end of the pin-connected Pratt's technological evolution and, in fact, it was soon waning and eclipsed in the highway bridge market by more rigid, rivet-connected truss designs, particularly the Warren but also riveted Pratts. The transition to riveted connections, which happened even earlier with railroads than highways, was in no small part due to concerns about stress reversals at the pins under heavier loads and improvements in pneumatic field riveting equipment in the early 1900s. In Ohio, Pratt truss highway bridges, whether pinned or riveted, were almost always built under the auspices of counties and local units of government; the Pratt was not a standard design of the state highway department. In Ohio, there are 185 Pratt trusses dating from ca. 1874 to 1945 with at least 60 dating prior to 1900 (Phase 1A, 2008). The technologically significant unaltered examples of pin-connected Pratt trusses for the most part date prior to 1900 and have documented or attributed builders and dates of construction and/or significant connection or member details. Later post-1900 examples are less technologically significant. Significant unaltered examples of riveted-connected Pratt trusses date from ca. 1900 to 1915.
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 is so well represented in Ohio.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
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