This bridge with its unique ornamental details is the only known surviving example of a bridge built by this small Ohio bridge builder. The bridge is also noted for the rare use of steeple head rivets on the end post. Steeple head rivets were more commonly used for pressure vessels like boilers and sometimes on bridge caissons. Despite the Historic Bridge Inventory consultants finding the bridge to be not historic, the bridge has rightfully been found Eligible for the National Register in 2002 as part of a Clean Ohio grant that made some repairs to the bridge. Whatever repairs were made, then, funding needs to be sought to further restore this bridge becuase it has deteriorated, including an eyebar that has broken, and the missing ornamental finials. Fully restored, this bridge would be a beautiful attraction for the park. The bridge may be eligible for TAP Funds (Transportation Alternative) or a local grantmaking organization is the Turner Foundation who might be inspired to help give this bridge a new lease on life.
Information About The Bridge Builder, Courtesy Historic Bridge Foundation:
Timothy Rogers and Rogers Iron Company of Springfield, Ohio
In 1882 a company named Rogers Fence Company was formed in Springfield Ohio. The company specialized in ornamental cast and wrought iron fences. Little is known about Timothy Rogers, who founded the company. Rogers did have a number of patents from the 1880s relating to ornamental iron fencing, stairs, etc. He also had a patent for a design of lawn mower and a harrow. In 1892, the name was changed to Rogers Iron Company, presumably to better reflect a wider range of products offered. One of those products was bridges. Only one bridge is known to survive from this company today. The bridge is located in Springfield, Ohio and it contains some unique ornamental detailing on the portal bracing that is perhaps a nod to the company’s history as a producer of ornamental iron. In 1905, the company was reorganized under a new name, William Bayley Company. William Bayley had been associated with the company since 1889 and this name change appears reflect his growing role in the company, as he ultimately became the company president, a position he still held as late as 1922, with day-to-day active management being run by his sons. The company reportedly operated until ca. 2000.
Timothy Rogers appears to have had some level of association with another company called Hanika Iron Fence Company of Springfield, Ohio since he held a patent from 1887 that referenced that name. The Chicora Foundation provided a brief history of a company called C. Hanika & Sons that is likely the same company. The information from Chicora Foundation is as follows:
C. Hanika & Sons -- It appears that the company may have begun in Celina, Ohio in the late nineteenth century. It continued to operate through the early twentieth century, but was no longer in Celina by 1907. An ad from that date, however, places the firm, still doing business as C. Hanika & Sons Co., in Muncie, Indiana. It perhaps merged with other Hanika family associated with the Muncie Architectural Iron Works, but appears under the name Ca. Hanika & Sons by 1907. The firm either no longer existed by 1911 or had merged with the Muncie Ornamental Iron Works (Celina Ohio Business Directory; Mercer County, Ohio History; Emerson's Muncie Directory). Chicora resources include only a 1907 advertisement for the firm in Muncie, Indiana.
Above: Builder plaque.
Above: Unique ornamental detailing on the portal bracing.
Above: Finial on bridge. Also note steeple head rivets on the end post below.
Information and Findings From Ohio's Historic Bridge Inventory
The bridge carries a 2-lane road over a stream in a wooded setting in Old Reed Park in Springfield.
The 1 span, 107'-long, pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is traditionally composed of built-up compression members and eyebar tension members.
The 1905 pin-connected Pratt thru truss bridge is later example of a common type/design and has no distinctive details or features. The not eligible recommendation of the prior inventory remains appropriate.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: No
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