Larry Duke, an OSU graduate and a Canadian, Oklahoma historian, has recently posted several articles on historical trails passing near Canadian Oklahoma. His most recent one covers The Beale Survey and Beale Wagon Road near Canadian. An important extraction from his recent Facebook publication found at:
contains the following:
“Beale made recommendations as to what creeks to bridge for the road. Pursuant to these recommendations, several bridges were actually built. The closest ones to the Gaines Creek area were across Emachaya Creek and the San Bois. In later years, the town of Iron Bridge would acquire its name from the bridge on the latter. During the Civil War, several of the bridges were destroyed, including "Iron Bridge". “
In this respect, Larry Duke agrees with noted Beale Wagon Road historian, Jack Beale Smith, who I have talked with twice in the past few days. Jack also believes that the Emachaya Creek bridge was located one mile west of Whitefield on the Beale Wagon Road (here also modern highway OK 9). The Emachaya Creek, Whipple bowstring arch bridge apparently replaced the so-called “Longtown” bridge which Jack believes was erroneously identified in the journal of the Beale survey. I also thought that the description of Beale’s survey given in the Chronicles of Oklahoma from west of Whitefield to North Fork Town was topographically confusing and illogically sequenced.
I now agree with Jack (and Larry Duke) that a 50-foot Whipple bowstring arch bridge was built on the Beale Wagon Road across Emachaya Creek, about one mile west of Whitefield. So, no Longtown Bridge no more!