Jump to content
American Road Magazine
Celebrating our two-lane highways of yesteryear…And the joys of driving them today!
roadhound

Historic Bridges

Recommended Posts

It has been way, way to long since a posting was made in this forum.

 

I would like to rectify that by posting a photo of one of the thousands of historic bridges from across the country and invite you to do the same. If you don't have any photos to share but have information on the subject I encourage you to share that as well.

 

This photo is of the Rainbow Bridge at Donner Summit. The concrete arched bridge overlooking Donner Lake was built in 1925 and as part of US 40 was a main east-west artery over the Sierra's until it was replaced by Interstate 80 in the mid 1960's. At an elevation of 7,239 feet U.S. 40 over Donner Summit was often closed during and after heavy snowfalls forcing motorists to us an alternate route that passed over the Sierra's further north at a lower elevation.

 

SC10_72_07.jpg

 

SC10_72_11.jpg

 

SC10_72_12.jpg

Edited by roadhound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rick,

 

The only thing I don't like about your photos is that they make me want to jump in the car and go there. I have seen photos of that bridge a hundred times, and never done as well as you have done it.

 

Thre are lots of stories about it as well, and I certainly have some old postcards of it somewhere here.

 

I'll post a really unknown bridge sometime today that is on the old Oregon Trail Highway and maybe another just off the California - Baniff Beeline. But they won't be as impressive as yours.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This bridge is almost the opposite of Roadhound’s spectacular example. In contrast to the thousands of pictures of the “must see” Donner Summit Bridge taken over the years (of which Roadhound’s are the finest I have seen), the Seufert Viaduct is forgotten and ignored.

 

ARSeufertSide.jpg

 

At one time the Seufert Viaduct, built in 1920, carried automobiles on the Old Oregon Trail Highway as it left The Dalles eastbound along the south side of the Columbia River. It now sits isolated and long forgotten, almost hidden below the Interstate 84 bridge beside and above it. For me the juxtaposition of the beautful arched two lane bridge and the stark interstate structure was interesting.

 

ARSeufertRoadbed.jpg

 

It is hard to imaging today that travelers once enjoyed a beautiful view of the Columbia River from the bridge. Now it exists only to carry an occasional car to a house or two, and to an almost unused river overlook.

 

ARSeufertSign.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This bridge is almost the opposite of Roadhound’s spectacular example. In contrast to the thousands of pictures of the “must see” Donner Summit Bridge taken over the years (of which Roadhound’s are the finest I have seen), the Seufert Viaduct is forgotten and ignored.

 

At one time the Seufert Viaduct, built in 1920, carried automobiles on the Old Oregon Trail Highway as it left The Dalles eastbound along the south side of the Columbia River. It now sits isolated and long forgotten, almost hidden below the Interstate 84 bridge beside and above it. For me the juxtaposition of the beautful arched two lane bridge and the stark interstate structure was interesting.

 

Thanks for the compliments on my photos KtSotR. It makes it worth trudging through the 3 feet of snow lugging a camera and tripod in order to find the right angle. Feel free to post scans of the postcards whenever you have a chance to dig them out of your archives. I do need to go back when there is no snow. I've seen pictures of the Lincoln Highway not far from there and have an urge to investigate.

 

I really like the design of the Seufert Viaduct in contrast to the new, modern, version. I'm not an expert on bridge design, and I am sure that there are considerations that have to be made to handle modern traffic loads, but there has to be something better looking than the box and post design that they used. The sad thing is I may have driven over the new bridge 15 years ago and, like most people, had no clue what was just below it. Thanks for posting the pictures, another destination to add to my list.

 

Roadhound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rick,

 

That last shot you posted of the bridge, with the road leading up to it, is wonderful. To me, a road running through a photo is like a verb running through a sentence -- it creates the action. That little curvy road segment says come-hither, and the object is the bridge. And then you can see some of the bridge's architecture from that angle! You have a nice eye for composition.

 

jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick,

 

That last shot you posted of the bridge, with the road leading up to it, is wonderful. To me, a road running through a photo is like a verb running through a sentence -- it creates the action. That little curvy road segment says come-hither, and the object is the bridge. And then you can see some of the bridge's architecture from that angle! You have a nice eye for composition.

 

jim

 

Thanks so much Jim. I try to stick to the basics as much as possible, use the rule of thirds, try not to have the focus of the picture in the center of the frame, etc. The other thing I do is take lots of pictures. "Let's hear it for digital! For every one of the shots that I posted their is 15 or 20 shots at different exposure levels, different focal lengths, different angles...

 

I know what you mean about a road running through a picture. The eye naturally follows the road in any picture and if you position it properly in the frame the viewer is drawn into the image and you have their interest. It's a tool that I try to use often.

 

Rick

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rick, I'm glad to hear that you get good results by practicing the fundamentals. It's encouraging to me because I'm just learning composition myself. I've been practicing the rule of thirds as best I can, and also trying to frame shots so motion is suggested, and am seeing improvement. I hope I learn the patience you seem to have, setting up so many shots just to get that one!

 

jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rick, I'm glad to hear that you get good results by practicing the fundamentals. It's encouraging to me because I'm just learning composition myself. I've been practicing the rule of thirds as best I can, and also trying to frame shots so motion is suggested, and am seeing improvement. I hope I learn the patience you seem to have, setting up so many shots just to get that one!

 

jim

 

The key is practice, practice, practice. Back in the day when I was shooting film I would be happy if I got 1 really good picture out of a roll of 24. Even with digital the percentage of successes is still about the same except that the cost per image is a lot less now than with film. I have on occassion shot as many as 600 pictures in a single day.

 

So go forth and take pictures...of a bridge, and post them on this forum! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I cannot promise the beautiful scenery of the western U.S., the photographic abilities of the former posters or even a picture of a bridge that served a famous highway.

 

492196660_a61a1b5f8c.jpg

 

The bridge is located on Old U.S. 49 just south of Brooklyn, Miss. Before 1936, U.S. 49 had a split from Hattiesburg to Brooklyn, and this bridge over Black Creek was just south of the southern end of the split. Since it is a truss bridge, it may go back to before the days of U.S. highways. The 1926 Automobile Blue Book lists this route as the Florida-Midwest Highway (which apparently never went to Florida nor the Midwest, as the ABB shows it only between Gulfport and Jackson, Miss.). James Schul's North American Auto Trails listing for the Jeff Davis Highway (not the Jefferson Davis Highway, but the two shared some roadway, which must have been somewhat confusing) makes that highway seem as if it also took this route.

 

As seen in the picture, the bridge is unfortunately no longer drivable; Mississippi's way of preserving truss bridges lately (within the past twenty years) has been to build a bypass bridge and remove the roadbed surrounding the bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cityboy1968,

 

Great to see your post! You are way too modest both about your photography and your area’s beauty and charm. I guess we all think somewhere else is prettier, because I think Mississippi is beautiful. And the photo is great.

 

The bridge is fascinating, and maybe Mississippi is into something. At least they don’t tear down everything!

 

Now that we have a photo of the bridge, how about sharing more photos and stories about the roads and roadside attractions in the area.

 

I remember an earlier exchange we had about southeastern Mississippi roads. I looked the area over on Google earth. I want to see more!! Why not start a new thread just about Mississippi roads, or maybe the Jeff Davis or Jefferson Davis in the U.S Highways and Auto Trails. (Note who is now the moderator there.......ah the fame! :D )

 

Let’s Keep the Show on the Road!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing wrong with your picture Cityboy1968, keep them coming. It's very interesting the way that the earth has been removed right up to the supports. They really didn't want anybody driving on that bridge.

 

Why not start a new thread just about Mississippi roads, or maybe the Jeff Davis or Jefferson Davis in the U.S Highways and Auto Trails[/b]. (Note who is now the moderator there.......ah the fame! :D )

Be careful Keep the Show on the Road! Don't let that fame go to your head. :D

 

roadhound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow! What a great boost you've all given this forum! Kudos to each of you. I enjoyed everyone's photos and posts. I hope to see more action here from all of you. I also hope this encourages more members to share news, info, and pics of roads and tunnels found during their explorations.

 

Becky

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here are a couple of forgotten bridges, from the National Road, in western Maryland. There are a surprising number of small early stone culverts further east, too.

 

The Puzzley (Puzzly) Run Bridge

 

1436297761_d598153b40.jpg

 

and the Shade Run Bridge

 

1435968377_a615e43688.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Christopher,

Thanks for the photos and :welcome: The AR forum doesn't have enough east coast "correspondants" to give us road news from that part of the country, so thanks for volunteering! ;)

I highly encourage everyone to check out his National Pike/National Road blog.....especially you, mobilene! It can be found here: National Pike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you.

 

I'm really surprised that there aren't more people interested in the National Road in this neck of the woods - the route of the road has changed relatively little, the scenery is great, and it is relatively close to Washington and Baltimore.

 

Also, on the bridges theme, I offer my map of stone bridges on the National Road in Maryland, with photographs as well as a photograph of the most famous extant stone bridge on the National Road, the Casselman River Bridge.

 

1436774428_3338ae9a48.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you.

 

I'm really surprised that there aren't more people interested in the National Road in this neck of the woods - the route of the road has changed relatively little, the scenery is great, and it is relatively close to Washington and Baltimore.

 

Also, on the bridges theme, I offer my map of stone bridges on the National Road in Maryland, with photographs as well as a photograph of the most famous extant stone bridge on the National Road, the Casselman River Bridge.

 

1436774428_3338ae9a48.jpg

 

Great, great!!! Bring on the photos and stories! So pleased to see them!!

 

I have an original first edition of Thomas B Searight’s “The Old Pike, a History of the National Road” written in 1894. I bought it years ago, and read it cover to cover, wondering what might remain of such things as mileposts and bridges. Now I know where to find the answer. I am delighted!

 

Please keep it coming!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Great, great!!! Bring on the photos and stories! So pleased to see them!!

 

I have an original first edition of Thomas B Searight’s “The Old Pike, a History of the National Road” written in 1894. I bought it years ago, and read it cover to cover, wondering what might remain of such things as mileposts and bridges. Now I know where to find the answer. I am delighted!

 

Please keep it coming!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Thank you. Searight's book has been a helpful source. A surprising amount of the old National Road in Maryland is still present - the one major exception being the Monocacy River Jug Bridge - but don't get me started on that. Most of the taverns and buildings are still around, though the landscape has changed a bit as DC sprawl continues to eat up more farmland. The Maryland Historical Trust Historical Sites Survey has been quite helpful - the searching tools and language could use a bit of work - it took me a while to realize that the small stone bridges in Howard County were, in fact, not culverts or bridges but "small structures" - but it has provided a lot of information about buildings on the road.

 

Where I really need historical map information right now is the National Road between Sideling Hill (5 miles or so west of Hancock, MD) and Cumberland - I think that historic USGS topos will probably do the trick. When I-68 was cut through, so much of the road was rerouted and releveled that it is difficult to figure out where the road might have gone or which segments might be original.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you. Searight's book has been a helpful source. A surprising amount of the old National Road in Maryland is still present - the one major exception being the Monocacy River Jug Bridge - but don't get me started on that. Most of the taverns and buildings are still around, though the landscape has changed a bit as DC sprawl continues to eat up more farmland. The Maryland Historical Trust Historical Sites Survey has been quite helpful - the searching tools and language could use a bit of work - it took me a while to realize that the small stone bridges in Howard County were, in fact, not culverts or bridges but "small structures" - but it has provided a lot of information about buildings on the road.

 

Where I really need historical map information right now is the National Road between Sideling Hill (5 miles or so west of Hancock, MD) and Cumberland - I think that historic USGS topos will probably do the trick. When I-68 was cut through, so much of the road was rerouted and releveled that it is difficult to figure out where the road might have gone or which segments might be original.

 

Happily our access to historic topos has grown substantially in just the last couple of years, and is getting better every week. It used to be that you either had to find a university with an out of date map library, or buy them on Ebay.

 

I am delighted to hear that many of the taverns still exist. I assumed that they had been lost to shopping malls. Any you can cite specifically as interesting or "authentic?"

 

Now I have another project...to reread Searight.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Happily our access to historic topos has grown substantially in just the last couple of years, and is getting better every week. It used to be that you either had to find a university with an out of date map library, or buy them on Ebay.

 

I am delighted to hear that many of the taverns still exist. I assumed that they had been lost to shopping malls. Any you can cite specifically as interesting or "authentic?"

 

Now I have another project...to reread Searight.

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

I haven't paid much attention to the uses of specific structures until recently - I was interested more in the general geography and things that photograph well. A few that come to mind (and I'm sure that there are many more...) are the South Mountain Inn, west of Frederick, Maryland, this Inn, in Flintstone, Maryland, and this place, which clearly requires some major work. There's also the Four Mile House, in Cumberland, and I'm sure many more.

 

One of the more interesting ones is on an old alignment, Exline Road, on the east side of Sideling Hill, a couple miles west of Hancock, Maryland. I can't quite tell whether it's been split up into a triplex or what. I'll post photos later tonight, once I figure out how to fix all the photos that I shot with the white balance on my camera set to "tungsten" - oops.

 

Unlike in, say, Ohio, where many of the National Road motels have remained motels or rental housing, many of the inns in Maryland have become private houses. You notice them mostly because a house seems both too big and too close to the road for the age of the structure - if it were merely the house of a well-off individual, it would be set back further from the road.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I haven't paid much attention to the uses of specific structures until recently - I was interested more in the general geography and things that photograph well. A few that come to mind (and I'm sure that there are many more...) are the South Mountain Inn, west of Frederick, Maryland, this Inn, in Flintstone, Maryland, and this place, which clearly requires some major work. There's also the Four Mile House, in Cumberland, and I'm sure many more.

 

One of the more interesting ones is on an old alignment, Exline Road, on the east side of Sideling Hill, a couple miles west of Hancock, Maryland. I can't quite tell whether it's been split up into a triplex or what. I'll post photos later tonight, once I figure out how to fix all the photos that I shot with the white balance on my camera set to "tungsten" - oops.

 

Unlike in, say, Ohio, where many of the National Road motels have remained motels or rental housing, many of the inns in Maryland have become private houses. You notice them mostly because a house seems both too big and too close to the road for the age of the structure - if it were merely the house of a well-off individual, it would be set back further from the road.

 

I enjoy matching old road sites with period descriptions. Your photo of the Old South Mountain Inn appears to be that of Millers Tavern, described by Searight as follows:

 

“South Mountain comes next and here a tavern was kept by one Miller. It was a wagon stand, a stone building, on the north side of the road.”

 

The Old South Mountain Inn web site describes it as a wagon stand as well, so perhaps they are one and the same.

 

I suppose someone has taken Searight’s book and following his descriptions, identified the taverns, bridges, and yes, the mileposts, he notes.

 

Great photos! And happily, most photo editing software has white balance adjustments :) !

 

I really appreciate the photos and desriptions!

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Bridges! I have been paying close attention to the styles of the railings and trying to guess the era by the architecture. I have seen some excellent examples around my area and will take pictures. The first five photos of this thread are great examples of the 'mission' style of railing that went from the 20's to 50's but the most I've seen are 30's and 40's. It will be fun to resurrect this thread.

~ Suey.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Bridges! I have been paying close attention to the styles of the railings and trying to guess the era by the architecture. I have seen some excellent examples around my area and will take pictures. The first five photos of this thread are great examples of the 'mission' style of railing that went from the 20's to 50's but the most I've seen are 30's and 40's. It will be fun to resurrect this thread.

~ Suey.

 

I love bridges, too, but I'm really chiming in here just because I love your screen name! Wish I could think of something half as clever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Our buddy Suey has returned to the forum. Welcome back!

 

So it is bridges, is it? I'm sure California is a suitable lab for identification of railing types, and any insights into dating will be appreciated.

 

I have been "holding back" on a bridge Sheila and I visited a month or so ago. Sooner or later I want to discuss it in greater detail, with more photos, but here is a "teaser." This is the Hillman bridge across the Suwannee River on the Old Spanish Trail near Ellaville, Florida. It was built in 1926-27.

 

This link leads to a piku piku 3D view, but you can also select parallel or cross eye, or 2D. (Part of my continuing exploration of the best way to show 3D).

 

Piku Piku View

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Show: Your bridge "way down upon the Suwanee River" jogged my memory, so I checked the gallery, and, sho 'nuff, it looks almost identical to the old US 80 bridge across the Gila River by the Gillespie Dam (between Gila Bend and Buckeye, AZ), that I shot last year. It was also constructed in 1926, so that was a common type from that era, it seems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Show: Your bridge "way down upon the Suwanee River" jogged my memory, so I checked the gallery, and, sho 'nuff, it looks almost identical to the old US 80 bridge across the Gila River by the Gillespie Dam (between Gila Bend and Buckeye, AZ), that I shot last year. It was also constructed in 1926, so that was a common type from that era, it seems.

 

First, thanks for the comeback!!

 

Your observation sparked me to go back in my "archives" to February, 2007 and compare the Gillespie bridge (top) on US 80 in Arizona near Gila Bend with the Hillman (bottom)(February, 2010, at Ellaville, Florida). They are definitely similar, and it may be that on technical inspection, would be of the same engineering design. They do differ in detail, as would be expected.

 

I have put my photos of each up for comparison. Suey may note the "unique" pedestrian railings on the Suwannee River example.

 

ARGil.jpg

 

 

ARSuw.jpg

 

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×