KING BRIDGE NEWS – UPDATE 2007
A number of interesting preservation events, additional bridge sightings, and discovery of historical mementos have occurred since our last update. These are noted below: (Also check the website Company History section for pictures from the Harry King family of the construction of the Willoughby Viaduct, probably the last major structure built by the company and a section showing the non-bridge structures included in the company catalogues of the late 1890s that were added earlier in 2007.)
1. The Boner Bowstring Bridge near Newburgh, Indiana, built in 1868 to the design of a Zenas King patent, was rededicated on May 5, 2007 after an extensive rehabilitation effort undertaken by Dan Reitmeyer and his crew. Jim Cooper was the featured speaker at the ceremonies. Check out the website of Historic Newburgh at www.historicnewburgh.org for details.
2. Ken Willis reports that the relocation of the Black Warrior Bowstring in Northport, Alabama has taken a bit longer than expected as a result of the decision of the Alabama Department of Transportation to take full responsibility for the project. The relocation and refurbishing of the structure should be underway this summer.
3. The Grand River Partnership has acquired property adjacent to the Johnson Road Bridge in Ashtabula County, Ohio and plan to incorporate the bridge into its program to protect and preserve the river banks. This is one of a number of through truss bridge built by the King Bridge Company in the County, a few of which are still standing. The Partnership has been supporting bridge preservation efforts in Northeastern Ohio, including providing funds for the King Bridge Company plaque on the relocated King bridge over Clay Road on the Western Reserve Rail Trail. For pictures of the Johnson Road Bridge, see http://www.venangoil.com/bridgesjohnsonroad.html , the website created by Daniel Alward.
4. In western New York, Gregory Clyde, the Chairman of the Stuart Road Bridge Sign Committee of Chili Mills sent us the corrected text for the plaque at will appear on the Stuart Road Bowstring that was restored by Monroe County DOT in 2002. (See the PRESERVATION section) It will read:
STUART ROAD BRIDGE
SQUIRE WHIPPLE BOWSTRING TRUSS BRIDGE
MANUFACTURED IN 1877 BY THE KING IRON BRIDGE COMPANY
IT IS ON THE STATE AND NATIONALREGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
IN 2002 IT WAS RESTORED BY THE MONROE COUNTY DOT
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE FRIENDS OF THE STUART ROAD BRIDGE
This is a copy of the stamp that was used by the local post office to commemorate the event.
6. On a recent bridge hunting trip through western New York and Pennsylvania, Nathan Holth found an 1881 King pony truss pictured below that has heretofore escaped our attention. Nathan will be posting information on this bridge, including its location, and others he visited on his website (http://www.historicbridges.org)
7. The following message was received from Jon Kozenewski, Maintenance Foreman Mohawk Adirondack & Northern RR on June 7. “We have a 1903 King bridge located approx. 38 miles north of Utica, N.Y. On the Mohawk Adirondack & Northern RR crossing the Sugar River. I don’t have any specs to give you, but I will try to collect some info and send more photo’s in the future. Our company is owned by Genesee Valley Transportation the same company that owns the Falls Road Bridge in Lockport, N.Y. We would like to extend an invitation to you to visit this structure anytime.”
8. Jim Stewart also sent pictures of a Beam Girder Bridge in Elmira, New York built by the King Bridge Company in 1905 and still in use by the Norfolk and Southern Railway. This is one of many King beam girders that are still carrying a load in many parts of the east and midwest.
9. Bridge historian Jim Stewart has found pictures of an elegant 190 foot bowstring span in Reno, Nevada built in 1877 by “King & Wheelock” (Zenas’s nephews George King and George Wheelock, nephew of Zenas’s wife, Miranda) across the Truckee River. The bridge was destroyed by a flood in 1950.
10. Robert Johnson of Easton, Pennsylvania reports that a local historian has found pictures of the construction of an elegant 1889 King through truss bridge that was included in the company catalogues of the early 1890s and shown below. Sadly, it is no longer standing.
11. Historic bridge researcher Randall Houp of Booneville, Arkansas, the discoverer of the The Mickles-Danville (Petit Jean) Bowstring -1880- Yell County, reported on last year tells us that he has found that the first bowstring bridge in Crawford County, Arkansas was built in 1874 by the King Bridge Company across Flat Rock Creek near Van Buren. It was later removed and then washed out in 1957. Pictures to follow. (firstname.lastname@example.org is Randall’s address.)