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Historic bridges of Missouri

Posted Tuesday, February 24, 2009, at 8:49 AM

(Photo)
This old Bollinger County bridge at Gipsy is just one example of the historic bridges around Missouri which have been abandoned and are being replaced with concrete bridges, which James Baughn refers to as UCEB (Ugly Concrete Eyesore Bridges). In his Feb. 23 presentation to the Stoddard County Historical Society, Baughn showed some of the 6,000 bridge photos he's taken throughout the United States. I took this photo last year on a little amateur history tour with some Advance friends.
There's something fascinating about bridges - especially the old ones. For that reason, I am SO GLAD that I didn't skip last night's meeting of the Stoddard County Historical Society! We had no idea of the treat which lay in store for us, when a young man named James Baughn (yes, it's pronounced like 007's name) substituted for Dr. Frank Nickell, who had to postpone his presentation until next month.

Wow! Wow! Wow! Baughn works for the Southeast Missourian in Cape, I gather, and, in fact, he's the one designed the websites for our papers. This talented young man has traveled Missouri and nearby states collecting information and taking photos of the old bridges before they fall into oblivion. He concentrated on the bridges of Stoddard and Bollinger County, but his collection of photos includes historic bridges around St. Louis and all over the state.

Along with the photos, Baughn gave construction details about each bridge, whether they were "pin-connected" (built before 1920), or "rivet-connected;" whether they were "through truss bridges" or "pony truss" bridges. He explained that "pratt truss" bridges with flat tops were the most common in the state and had a length limit of about 120 feet. He also referred to "Parker trusses," "Penn trusses," and "Warren trusses."

"I wasn't going to talk about the different types of trusses tonight, because I thought it would be boring for you," Baughn said. HA! He little knew this group!! We were FASCINATED by all this bridge construction stuff! You'd have thought we had plans to build one in our back yards!

Baughn has a WONDERFUL website at http://www.bridgehunter.com. He has a passion for the preservation of old bridges and told us about the "Chain of Rocks" bridge, an all-steel bridge which has been restored in the St. Louis area on old Route 66. Foot traffic is allowed on the bridge, but several of last night's audience cautioned us to "take all your valuables with you" if we decide to visit the bridge. The parking lot is a high-crime area, and items are stolen from cars with regularity.

The McKinley Bridge, built in St. Louis in 1910, has also been restored and has a bike trail, which is being expanded.

Baughn simply mentioned too many bridges for me to include all of them here! Among them were bridges in Aquilla, Avert, Puxico (Indian Ford Bridge, among others), Wapappello (longest truss bridge in Southeast Missouri, built in 1911), Dexter (on 114 by the radio station, 1922 Pony truss bridge), Old Hiway 25 bridges built in 1922), Sedgewickville (largest Parker bridge still standing, at 170 feet), Old Appleton bridge (built in 1879, destroyed by flood, rebuilt by the community), Black River bridges, Morehouse plate girder bridge over the Big Ditch......

You must go on his site and see the bridge near Jefferson City - the first one to be replaced by the stimulus money. Oh, my! What a spectacular bridge! Baughn also has a photo of a truck which took a wrong turn and tried to cross one of the old bridges. Oh, dear, oh dear!

The hour-long presentation went far too fast for our group, and we made him promise to come back for a second dose! I confess that I would like to spend today and the rest of the week, traveling around the countryside, looking for old bridges! What a wonderful hobby! Then, after we find them, let's come up with a way to SAVE them!!

If you are interested in attending some of the society's programs, they occur at the Stars & Stripes Museum in Bloomfield at 6:30 p.m. on the last Monday of each month. Dr. Nickell will present a historical program on U.S. presidents Washington and Lincoln at the March meeting.

From the bridgeless community of Tillman, Missouri, this is your rural reporter, suffering from a severe case of Bridge Nostalgia...


Comments
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What sort of shape is that area in right now, guard?

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Jul 19, 2009, at 1:14 PM

I hunted in the place called the "old fort" west of bloomfield. The only time I killed two rabbits with one shot from my 410 was there. I lived almost next to the old fort. Also, blackberries were plentiful at the old fort.

-- Posted by guard on Fri, Jul 10, 2009, at 7:33 PM

"Enemy of the Week"....good one, too, J.B.!

I shall report your weight retort to the person who challenged the strength of the ancient stone arches, J.B.......if I can remember who it was!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 8:32 AM

Tillman River and Lake DeJournett -- good ones, FJ!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Mar 12, 2009, at 8:30 AM

GL, the Roman's massive Pont du Gard aqueduct is still in good shape, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pont_du_Gar...

Also, GL, just as Archimedes is credited with saying he could move the Earth if given a large enough lever, a stone arch bridge could possibly be built to support the weight of the Earth.

JB, although it hasn't formally been christened and it may take a little imagination, the outflow pipe from Lake DeJournett may be the best candidate for the Tillman River.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Mon, Mar 9, 2009, at 3:13 PM

Madeline: I don't have any photos of the 1961 bridge (the Indian Creek Bridge on Highway 177). I guess I should get some photos before they replace it... but, well, it's just plain ugly.

FJGuy: There's a Tillman River? This I gotta see! (By the way, I think I have some distant relatives buried at Tillman Cemetery.)

goat lady: If you've got a well-built stone arch bridge, it can support almost any kind of load. The Roman stone-arch aqueducts carried huge volumes of water, while the stone-arch road bridges carried large armies off to fight wars against the Barbarian-Enemy-of-the-Week. So the bridges saw plenty of wear and tear, even in those days.

Even more Roman bridges would have survived if it hadn't been for people "borrowing" the stone blocks to build other things during the Middle Ages. Heck, we still have that problem today. This stone-and-brick bridge at Chester, Illinois, continues to shrink every year as souvenir hunters grab more and more bricks:

http://bridgehunter.com/il/randolph/rock

-- Posted by James Baughn on Mon, Mar 9, 2009, at 12:43 PM

Hahahaha! You have a point, FJ! And I'm sure James Baughn would agree!

I was talking about this subject with someone recently, and this person suggested that maybe the stone bridges lasted 2,000 years because they didn't have heavy vehicles (trains, trucks, etc.) traveling over them. I think donkey carts were mentioned...

What do you think of that suggestion??

-- Posted by goat lady on Sun, Mar 8, 2009, at 9:37 PM

MD, stone bridges last so long for at least two reasons: their are no joints to wear out and the stone deteriorates slowly when exposed to the weather. If you'll recall the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because of defectively designed joints. Also, the latest research supports that the Titanic sank because of defective rivets (holding the hull plates together) that prematurely failed from the stress of the iceberg that was struck.

I got to thinking that a possible tourist attraction would be to remedy Tillman's bridgeless status by building a 2,000 year-old stone bridge over the Tillman River (i.e., a bridge designed to last for at least 2,000 years). However, it occurred to me that it would be difficult if not impossible to get it approved for construction because it would have to be designed so that the engineers reviewing the plans would be convinced the stones wouldn't move in an earthquake. In other words, a steel bridge that may only last for 40 or 50 years is readily approved as safe for construction, but a stone bridge that could be expected to last for 2,000 years or more would be considered as unsafe by engineers! Just think! If the Roman engineers had been as smart as the college educated engineers today, those 2,000 year old stone bridges in France and Spain would not have been built because the Roman engineers would have known they would never last.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Sat, Mar 7, 2009, at 6:09 PM

Just about any stone arch bridge, if properly maintained and large enough to withstand flash floods, can last virtually forever.

The oldest bridge in the U.S. was built in 1697 with three stone arches:

http://bridgehunter.com/pa/philadelphia/...

Even more impressive than the Canton bridge is this one:

http://bridgehunter.com/pa/susquehanna/s...

One of the oldest bridges in Missouri (1856) is also a stone arch bridge, now carrying heavy locomotives:

http://bridgehunter.com/mo/washington/ir...

Meanwhile, we're lucky if our modern bridges last 50 years. Just this week MoDOT announced a contract to replace a bridge in Cape County that was built in 1961. It's not even 50 years old and already falling apart. I've seen this all over the state.

The ancient Romans would be laughing their butts off if they saw our "modern" engineering.

-- Posted by James Baughn on Fri, Mar 6, 2009, at 11:49 AM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
James, thank you so much for this input! It saves us from looking through 6,000 pictures (not that such a job would be unpleasant!) to find the oldest bridge in the U.S.!

I think the Susquahanna bridge is especially beautiful! I also enjoy the links to the Library of Congress sites, which have even more photos and history.

I've been thinking about the tendancy for "cheap" bridges to be built in this country. I put "cheap" in quotation marks, because they're certainly not inexpensive - but they do seem to be made more ...ah...economically, and less permanently than the bridges in, say, Europe. Maybe it's just that those countries are so OLD, and the materials were relatively cheap at the time. Plus, labor was super cheap.

Do you perchance have a photo on bridgehunter.com of that 1961 bridge that MoDot is replacing?

GOOD question, FJ! Those are fantastic bridges! On the bridgehunter.org site, there IS that amazing bridge in Massachusetts called the Canton Bridge. It would seem to be one of the few that might last the longest.

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Mar 5, 2009, at 9:31 PM

JB, I recently saw a program that showed some very old Roman bridges in Spain. The Romans definitely built bridges (and everything else) to last. This Roman bridge in France is almost 2,000 years old, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Bridg... This bridge in Spain was built almost 2,000 years ago, http://www.travelinginspain.com/salamanc... And this is another ancient Roman bridge in Spain in fabulous shape, http://albertoest555.fotopic.net/p896133... Of the bridges you've seen in the U.S. JB, which one do you think will last the longest?

-- Posted by FJGuy on Thu, Mar 5, 2009, at 8:38 PM

Satire is well-protected by the First Amendment and court rulings. Of course, anybody can sue anybody for anything, but libel lawsuits against satire publications are rarely, if ever, successful.

The same is true for lawsuits involving historic bridges (here's my futile attempt to get back on topic). Many cities and counties demolish perfectly good bridges because "somebody might get hurt" or "we might get sued."

I've yet to find a single case where somebody got hurt on a historic bridge and then successfully sued. Sure, it could happen someday, but the risks are much lower than everybody thinks.

-- Posted by James Baughn on Thu, Mar 5, 2009, at 3:56 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
I'm glad to know about the protected status of satire. I'll keep that in mind if I ever decide to delve into it. Of course, it is the most widely misunderstood form of humor, I believe (with the pun being the most disrespected). I would estimate that fully 1/2 of the population of the world has NO sense for irony and satire!

Ah, you notice all the details, don't you, FJ? Good point.

I'm still curious about all that fake news and the legal ramifications. The title "fake news" would be a disclaimer, wouldn't it? So, does it protect them from liability?

I've decided now that BOTH you and James Baughn are too smart for your own good!!!!!! I believe the term is "so smart it's scary!"

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Mar 5, 2009, at 1:15 PM

GL, keep in mind that "Anonymous Longhair" created the Tuxissa virus in 1999, so he may have become "square" in the ten years since.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Mar 4, 2009, at 10:15 PM

This is all too scary for me! I'm not clicking on any of these links!! ARGGGGGGGG!!!

Besides, I've seen James Baughn in person, and he doesn't have long hair!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Mar 4, 2009, at 9:10 PM

JBaughn, I looked at Wikipedia's Tuxissa page and saw that it was an orphan page because of an absence of links. So I added links on that page and the Virux Hoax page, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virus_hoax

F-Secure is a major anti-virus software program, and this is their page about the insidious Tuxissa virus that was created by "Anonymous Longhair", http://www.f-secure.com/v-descs/april1j....

-- Posted by FJGuy on Wed, Mar 4, 2009, at 5:33 PM

I've always clearly labeled my stories as "Fake", but that hasn't stopped people from believing them. Take a look at this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuxissa

I had written a story about a fake computer virus. Well, somehow this morphed into one of those chain letters warning people about this supposed "virus" as a real threat. This prompted some anti-virus software makers to issue statements warning people that this was in fact a "hoax." To add to the insanity, there's now a Wikipedia page about the whole thing!

-- Posted by James Baughn on Wed, Mar 4, 2009, at 9:52 AM

OH, MY GOSH!!! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT! I LOVE IT!! I feel as if my brain is SET FREE when I read it!!

On a more serious note....How do you guys get away with all that biting political satire?? Of course, you have the word "FAKE" all over both sites....Is that the key? You make sure everybody understands that it's not REAL news - then you can poke fun at anything & everything that (literally) tickles your fancy?? Oh, oh, oh! That article about the yellow dog running for office!! Soooo funny!

I had just made a vow (after being w/o power for 8 days and breaking my internet addiction - I thought) that I was going to spend less time on the computer and more time walking on the treadmill, doing crunches, and READING! Now your two "fake news" sites have blown my good intentions to SMITHEREENS!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Mar 4, 2009, at 8:39 AM

goat lady: I've got another website for you: www.thecaperock.com

-- Posted by James Baughn on Tue, Mar 3, 2009, at 3:52 PM

Thanks James, I truly appreciate it! That one near Aquilla is the first one listed on your site for Stoddard County, and I thought that might be it, but had to ask my dad because I didn't remember the field nearby. He said that's it, so I guess that's it.

I believe the one near Poplar Bluff is the Williamsville Bridge, but I can't believe that they've replaced it within the last couple years, so that may not be it. Thanks again. It's those times that I had in my past that I wish I would've had a camera!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 4:20 PM

Oh, hey, folks, if you'd like a sample of James Baughn's TRULY "Off the wall" humor, check out his "fake news" on www.humorix.org! Hahaha! I LOVE fake news, even if I don't understand all the computer geek humor! (and I mean that in the best way, as my oldest son is an engineer/geek with an off the wall sense of humor!)

Read the one about the million monkeys!! James, how do you come up with this stuff???? It reminds me of "The Onion," a newspaper devoted to fake news -- which is, of course, SATIRE on every conceivable subject!

-- Posted by goat lady on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 3:12 PM

mrsdolphin: This is probably the bridge near Aquilla that you remember:

http://bridgehunter.com/mo/stoddard/aqui...

The bridge over Black River could be the Hendrickson Bridge:

http://bridgehunter.com/mo/butler/hendri...

...or the Williamsville Bridge, now replaced by a boring concrete span:

http://bridgehunter.com/mo/wayne/william...

-- Posted by James Baughn on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 2:44 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
James, thank you so much for responding to dolphin's question! I was hoping that you would check back and see it! The topic continues to fascinate! My North Stoddard Countian story about your talk at the Stars & Stripes should be in tomorrow's paper. But, alas, the NSC isn't online, so you'll miss it!!

Mr. Baughn, there are two bridges that I remember from times past that I couldn't locate on my own, and was wondering if you could help me.

One's somewhere around Aquilla, and I don't believe there's been any through traffic on it in quite some time. My dad and I used to go fishing right beside it when I was a kid, and when I'd get bored, I'd go walking across it.

The other is a working bridge in Butler County (I think). I believe it's North of Poplar Bluff, but I remember you have to go down a small two lane road to get to the town that it sits just a mile or so from. I don't even remember the name of the town. My husband, kids, and I went canoeing on the Black River a couple summers ago, and that was our starting point. If it's too much trouble, I understand...but you can bet I'll keep exploring your website to see if I can find it!

-- Posted by mrsdolphin on Sun, Mar 1, 2009, at 6:37 PM

MD, I still have a big canister shot, several minie balls, as well as a couple of harness buckles, "US", and various musket shot, etc..GN..the house north of the gym was where Brenda French and her family lived, a good friend and classmate of an old flame of mine, believe they also were in MYF together...yes I have a small story or two, when we get to bloggin' about them "Secesh", remember, my French Republican G-Gpa rode with Grant......molater, kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Sat, Feb 28, 2009, at 1:43 PM

Lands sakes! I just had an awfully "vicious" thought. What if that smoke I smell came from someone toasting marshmallows? (shame, shame!) I certainly hope the cogs of a history wheel are firing up instead. I eagerly anticipate some legends of our land. I have one really good story to send. The tombstone of THIS hero can be found in the Bootheel, at the base of what was once a grand old tree. I doubt most of you have heard the story.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Sat, Feb 28, 2009, at 12:49 PM

Hehehee! I think I smell smoke, too!!! Hang onto your stories!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Sat, Feb 28, 2009, at 9:47 AM

kk, The house just south of Bloomfield gym, which was torn down to build the school library, I believe, was my great-grandma's house. She had a rock garden that contained rocks from all over the world. She also had a fish pond built of stone. It was really sad for us when her house was torn down, but after her death it was sold.

I'll save a few stories for the blog about SEMO Civil War History, whenever our leader decides to put that one together. I think the cogs are turning...I smell smoke way down where I live.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 8:56 PM

You have to wonder if anyone remembers the garden, just north of the Bloomfield High School Gym, across the street, and ever noticed that the old house and yard were actually in an old earthwork, especially the garden area????? I pulled cannonballs out of the gravel pits south of Dexter and out of the roots of trees below the old Chalk Bluff Trail Stage route up on the ridge between my house and One Mile.....funny what you can see when you're not looking..our old home ground was a passing point for the Confederate retreat from New Madrid, and the minds of the time were mixed on the subject du jour...we lived on historic ground, even pre-historic, just ask Mr. Paul Corbin, appreciate your history, remember it well and bear it with honor, I can and will continue, but later.....kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 8:05 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
kk...fascinating information! Did you happen to keep your cannonballs and carry them with you to Kansas - or did you lose track of them over the years?

I wish Mr. Corbin felt up to writing more on the blogs. He has so much information inside his head! However, I do believe that he uses the "Hunt & Peck" system of typing, and it takes a looooong time for him to post a story. Right now, he's feeling under the weather (and we know what the weather's been like!!) I'll see if he's receptive to my posting some of his previous stories, many of which haven't been seen by much of the public.

Oh, yeah! This area was a Southern enclave, I gather, so there wasn't much fondness for the Yankees! In one story I was told, Union forces shot a man as he stood on his front porch with his baby in his arms! In another story, some locals put out the word that there was going to be a get-together at a certain location, and the Rebel sympathizers were waiting in ambush when the Yankees showed up.

I wonder how much of that hoopla was true wartime activity - and how much was just a bunch of rowdies who took advantage of the situation to have some "fun"???

There is so much to write about in this area!!!

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 12:55 PM

Yep--I think it would. My dad played at the old "fort" outside of Bloomfield when he was a child. He treasured a Confederate sword found there. I'd bet others in the area still live to tell of their memories and relics.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 12:44 PM

Oooooooh, yum, yum! You bet!! Clint Eastwood will be HOT on his deathbed!!! Haha!

Actually, gn, Bloomfield was high and dry above the swamp - since it was on Crowley's Ridge. That's why the town is so much older than most of the towns in Stoddard County. Lots of Civil War history there - both blue & grey forces were whooping up and down the gravel and dirt roads, shooting each other and various & sundry sympathizers, burning the court house, bush whacking innocent and guilty civilians alike!

I'm wondering if some of that swamp history would make good blog topics... It's been written about in the regular paper -- but none has been put on the website. Mmmmmmm........

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 10:58 AM

GL, I enjoy seeing the old bridges, but I don't know a lot to contribute; therefore, I've made no entries. The information you put in the last entry was interesting to me. I had ancestry in the Bloomfield area in the late 1800s, but I didn't realize it was barely inhabited then. My great-grandma was "afraid" of those early bridges and motor cars. When they crossed a bridge, she made the driver stop and let her walk across first. I also can't avoid mentioning visions of Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep photographing bridges in The Bridges of Madison County. Good book--good movie.

-- Posted by GONENOW on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 8:57 AM

Haha! Poor New Zealander!! You're a real sport, wartz! I checked out that Canton Viaduct, and I'm amazed that they built something like that in 1835!

We don't see bridges like that in this part of the world, since we were under the swamp waters for so long. Southeast Missouri wasn't drained and made largely inhabitable until 1924 or thereabouts! Oh, there were a FEW people who braved the early, waterlogged conditions, but it wasn't opened up for widespread habitation until the Little River Drainage project was finished. (Moved more dirt than was moved when the Panama Canal was built!)

-- Posted by goat lady on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 7:46 AM

I must say that this is a great way to discourage we "foreigners" from these blogs - pick on a subject we know nothing about - that'll do it. In any case our bridges are nowhere near as fascinating. The philosophy here is to build a bridge which will enable people to get from one side of the river to the other without getting their feet wet ! There are very few frills.

Despite my lack of knowledge I have had a fun time working through the website and have been most impressed by the manner in which the data has been presented. Inevitably, I lurched onto another state, Massachusetts, found Norfolk and then the Canton Viaduct built in 1835. What a monster it is for that time and still in use today. Worth a look.

-- Posted by wartz on Fri, Feb 27, 2009, at 2:55 AM

Oh, I should have known you had it; I just didn't find it. Thanks!

-- Posted by goat lady on Thu, Feb 26, 2009, at 2:26 PM

goat lady: This is the "new" Lick Log bridge:

http://bridgehunter.com/mo/bollinger/lic...

-- Posted by James Baughn on Thu, Feb 26, 2009, at 1:27 PM

James, why don't you have photos of the "new" bridge on your site? At least I don't think I saw it...

-- Posted by goat lady on Wed, Feb 25, 2009, at 9:32 PM

I always take lots of photos. These days, even a cheap $15 memory card can easily hold a thousand photos from a digital camera.

I learned my lesson when I first visited the bridge at Gipsy over the Castor River. The weather was bad, so I only snapped a couple photos and figured that I would come back later. When I came back later, the bridge was already gone and the replacement under construction.

The other bridge at Gipsy -- over Lick Log Creek -- is the one pictured above. Well, there's actually a third Gipsy bridge too... the "new" bridge that currently carries traffic over Lick Log Creek is a truss bridge that was originally built on Highway 51 near Marble Hill and then moved here in 1995.

-- Posted by James Baughn on Wed, Feb 25, 2009, at 10:33 AM

MD/GL/Jim...I am extremely pleased that someone in our "neck of the woods" is out on a MISSION!!! You can not imagine my elation at seeing those images of the old creek, ALTHOUGH, the last time I looked up either direction, I could see gravel bottom, clear water, and could have waded that and not have been wet past my knees!! And as to the views from above, as I recall there is a hill immediate to the entry of the bridge from the Lowndes side, which will have to be taken into account whenever a new bridge is placed at that site...you come around the hill and drop onto the bridge from the side of that hill. Dr. Franz and Dr. Williams, at SEMO were both mentors, both in Earth Science and in Grotto,(from whence comes my moniker) and I do recall a certain Dr. Knox, who was an early influence, as I audited classes in his Geo 101 at MahGill(sic) when I was still in high school...Thank you for a present vision into the hills that I belong to..if only in my memories.... (let's rebuild bridges and preserve our resources)....kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 11:07 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Kk, your memory is good. There was very little water below the bridge when we were there, but it was in a dry season, if I remember. There is, in fact, a new concrete bridge almost immediately to the right of the old bridge, if I remember right... If I go that way again, I'll learn a lesson from Baughn and take photos from every side, plus pictures of the new bridge.

I also received two photos of the old Greenbrier bridge from Paul Corbin, and I want to post them. Can't decide if I want to do it on a new blog - or switch out the Gipsy Bridge photo... I just talked to Mr. Corbin, and he said that there were two Gipsy bridges, one over the Castor and one over Gipsy Creek. The one in my photo is the second one. I'm hoping he feels up to posting a reply on this blog today and can tell us more.

I checked on the Lowndes bridge site, and I can't believe that Baughn included SIXTEEN views - including one from above! How did he do that???

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 9:18 PM

Thanks, Jim, that old bridge carried a lot of camping trips into Bear Creek after the old red barn road, before Gipsy, became unusable, as well as the old creek ford, and thanks, I wondered if I had "wandered" over the county line, geography in those woods IS TIGHT!!!! I'll check your site on Wayne CO., Regards and thanks again....kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 6:28 PM

kkcaver47: The Lowndes Bridge is still standing, but was closed to traffic last year: http://bridgehunter.com/mo/wayne/lowndes... (Lowndes is actually in Wayne County)

-- Posted by James Baughn on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 5:01 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Aha! It didn't take you long to find my blog, did it, James?? I can't tell you how exciting I find your bridge project! Thanks for the input!

My Bad, That's Licking Log Creek, but the old bridge type I think is the same as that old bridge north of Lowndes, which may still be standing as it's not in the web site on Bollinger County. kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 3:52 PM

Madeline, I looked at James Baughn's website, http://www.bridgehunter.com He has a database of almost 30,000 bridges in the United States, and information about those bridges is available through an interactive map of the United States that is divided by state. Each state map is divided by county, so in seconds you can see the bridges in any county in the country. James Baughn has put an enormous amount of work into compiling the bridge information available on his website.

-- Posted by FJGuy on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 2:51 PM
Madeline Dejournett's response:
Yes, thanks for mentioning that information, FJGuy. I forgot to include the fact that he has 6,000 photos, but he has information on 30,000 bridges. It's such a user-friendly website, too. I plan to spend a lot of time there!!

MD/GL, and all....Just glad I didn't try to into Bear Creek through Gipsy/Lowndes, 'cause that appears to be the old (early 1900's) bridge that crosses the Bear Creek on/after a sharp right hander on the road, a few miles upstream from the old Allen place!!! The area just over the bridge is still a low water passage area, so a good four wheel drive could ford the creek there as I recall, but the bridge was a memory waiting to happen for those of us who know the area, Thanks for the memory now....kk

-- Posted by kkcaver47 on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 11:38 AM

You can read about more bridges on James Baughn's blog on http://www.southeastmissourian.com. Type "Pavement Ends" in the search window, and it'll bring up 39 articles, one of which is "Bridges of Madison County...Missouri," which I found interesting, since I'm fascinated by the little village of Marquand. There's a photo of the piece of the old bridge, which the townsfolk have moved to their historic square.

Baughn even gives directions, if you want to go see these bridges yourself.

-- Posted by goat lady on Tue, Feb 24, 2009, at 10:02 AM


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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net or by phone at 573-722-5322.
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