This pony truss is one of a number of bridges in Chester County built by John Denithorne and Sons (at the time this bridge was built, the firm was known as Denithorne Brothers). This small pony truss bridge is noted for its unusual threaded rod with nut connection detail where the diagonal member meets the top chord and end post. This detail is extremely similar to that used by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton Ohio. This bridge demonstrates that the Wrought Iron Bridge Company was clearly not the only company to use this detail on its pony truss bridges.
Information and Findings From Pennsylvania's Historic Bridge Inventory
Discussion of Bridge
The one-span, 37'-long, wrought-iron, pony truss bridge built in 1882 is supported on stone abutments. The bridge has built-up upper chords and verticals, and eye bar lower chords and diagonals. Cast-iron connecting pieces are used at the end post-upper chord connections, but all other connections are pinned. U-shaped hangers support built-up fishbelly floorbeams. Channel railings (ca. 1950) are welded to the inside of the truss lines. U-shaped stone wingwalls with parapets enclose the approach roadways. The wingwalls have been repaired and buttressed by concrete walls faced with stone (1997). The bridge is an early and complete example of its type and design with uncommon cast-iron connecting piece details. These type of cast-iron connections were used during a period of transition from the all cast- and wrought-iron truss bridges of the mid-19th century, to the all pinconnected truss bridges of the late 1880s and 1890s. Surviving examples with the cast-iron connecting pieces are rare. The bridge was built by Denithorne Brothers, a leading fabricator of metal truss highway bridges in the county and region. It is the oldest of ten identified Denithorne-built bridges in Chester County from 1882 to 1905.
Discussion of Surrounding Area
The bridge carries a one lane road over a stream in a small area of open space surrounded by late-20th-century suburban commercial and residential development north of the US 202 corridor. South of the bridge is a wooded township-owned open space with hiking trails. At the bridge's northwest quadrant is the David Harvard House (NR-listed 10/26/1972), a late- 18th-century vernacular stone residence.
Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes
Coordinates (Latitude, Longitude):
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