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Oak Knoll Park Bridge

Oak Knoll Park Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): Nathan Holth

Bridge Documented: August 24, 2019

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Pedestrian Walkway Over Sippo Valley Trail
Massillon: Stark County, Ohio: United States
Structure Type
Metal Howe Pony Truss, Fixed
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1859 By Builder/Contractor: C.M. Russell and Company of Massillon, Ohio and Engineer/Design: Joseph Davenport

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Main Span Length
28 Feet (8.5 Meters)
Structure Length
28 Feet (8.5 Meters)
Roadway Width
7.6 Feet (2.32 Meters)
1 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

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

Designed by Joseph Davenport, who later formed the Massillon Bridge Company, this is the oldest surviving iron bridge in Ohio. It was the first iron bridge built in Stark County. In 1899, the bridge was relocated from its original site in Alliance to this park in Massillon. The relocation was done for reasons of historic preservation, as such this may be one of the first examples of historic bridge preservation in the country! The bridge was restored again in 2010.

This bridge as originally built was actually a deck truss, having much deeper floorbeams. This is why the railings, which are original, look overly tall today, since originally the deck was higher than it is today. The Howe truss design hints at the patented design that Davenport later used for other bridges built by the Massillon Bridge Company.

Above: Historical photo of the bridge in its original location, showing the deck truss configuration.

Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory


The bridge carries a pedestrian trail over a dry run in Massillon's Oak Knoll Park.

Physical Description

The 1 span, 27'-long bridge is a cast and wrought-iron Howe truss that was fabricated in 1859 and relocated from Alliance to Massillon in 1899.

Summary of Significance

The bridge is a rare and very significant example of early metal truss construction and the oldest known cast and wrought iron bridge in Ohio. See HAER OH-85 and David Simmons, Timeline, 1985.


The bridge is one of 6 extant examples dating from 1859 through the early 1870s of Joseph Davenport's technologically significant, innovative all-iron design that helped to launch Ohio's postbellum metal-truss bridge industry. All examples are rare and of exceptional importance because of their contribution to the evolution of the bridge type. Each is worthy of extraordinary measures to preserve and has high significance.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


Photo Galleries and Videos: Oak Knoll Park Bridge

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Maps and Links: Oak Knoll Park Bridge

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