The Six 1859 Beale Wagon Road Iron Bridges in IT
As I reflect back on the Six Whipple-designed Cast- and Wrought-Iron Bowstring Iron Bridges built for the Beale Wagon Road in Indian Territory in 1859, I remain awe-struck by the historical fact of how rare and advanced these bridges were--especially being way out in "Indian Territory" prior to the Civil War. Thank God for Kyle Burch's two documented Beale-Whipple discoveries for the Redbank Bridge: its two Masonry Stone Abutments, and its Holy Grail iron bridge sign, pictures of which have been published at Jack Beale Smith's bealewagonroad.com. To review these, visit:
and the features of the Six Beale Wagon Road Iron Bridges in Indian Territory at
I have reviewed Bridgehunter.com several times together with other perusals, and I cannot find any evidence of a Whipple bowstring built west of New York until a few years after the Civil War. As noted below, these half-dozen or so Whipple Bridges were built in Indiana and Michigan by Simon de Graff of Syracuse, N.Y, along the St. Joseph River, and a later one by Whipple's nephew, James W. Shipman, in Ohio in 1872.
BRISTOL BRIDGE, ELKHART CO. INDIANA https://bridgehunter.com/in/elkhart/bristol/
Lost Bowstring through truss bridge over St Joseph River on Division Street. One of 3 Whipple design bowstring structures built in Elkhart County Indiana around 1869 by Simon de Graff of New York. Several more were built over the St. Joseph just to the North in St. Joseph County, Michigan. Built by Simon de Graff of Syracuse, New York; replaced in 1907 and one span relocated to Island Park in Elkhart where it stood until being destroyed by a storm in 1952.
LELAND BRIDGE, COLON, ST JOSEPH CO. MICHIGAN https://bridgehunter.com/mi/st-joseph/leland/
Lost Bowstring through truss bridge over St Joseph River on Stowell Road; St. Joseph County, Michigan
No longer exists. Built in 1869 by Simon de Graff; replaced in 1942 after an automobile crashed through it's floor. Builders - Simon de Graff of Syracuse, New York (Builder), Squire Whipple of Albany, New York (Design) Total length: 122.0 ft.
FARRAND BRIDGE, MICHIGAN https://bridgehunter.com/mi/st-joseph/bh76148/
Lost Bowstring pony truss bridge over the St Joseph River on Farrand Road
Colon, St. Joseph County, Michigan Replaced by a new bridge
Built 1868 by Simon de Graff. Sold to a salvage firm for $150 in 1966
- Simon de Graff of Syracuse, New York (Builder)
- Squire Whipple of Albany, New York (Design)
3-span, 7-panel Bowstring Arch pony trusses
RODRICK BRIDGE, ON CAMPUS OF OHIO STATE-NEWARK.
This finely maintained Whipple Bridge is the only known existing example not in New York State of a "Whipple Arch," which was a cast and wrought iron bowstring design pioneered in America and patented by the famous engineer Squire Whipple. This bridge, built in 1872, was originally located in Coshocton County, Ohio, and relocated on the Campus of Ohio State-Newark in 1998. Its builder, Coshocton Iron Works was created in 1871 by Squire Whipple's nephew, James W. Shipman. This was the first and only bridge the company built. Shortly thereafter, a boiler in the foundry blew up putting the newly formed company out of business.