Under the stone bridge on the Michigan Road

A friend and I went to Madison for the day last Saturday and we drove the Michigan Road home. When we got to the stone bridge just inside Ripley County, we found that the creek had gone dry. Seeing an opportunity for a much closer look at this old girl, we stopped.

Stone bridge

We know nothing about building or restoring stone bridges, so we couldn’t figure out whether this is amateur restoration work, or whether a 19th-century coating of cement had been flaking off over time. Either way, things don’t look good under here.

Stone bridge

We were curious about the mortar here, as well. It seems so sloppily applied. The cement support is clearly recent; somebody wrote “10-1-1997” and their initials in it while it was still wet.

Stone bridge

Regardless, this bridge remains a gem, something Ripley County should be proud of.

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4 responses to “Under the stone bridge on the Michigan Road”

  1. hoosier reborn Avatar
    hoosier reborn

    Great picture opportunity. When they started to do this heavy lime-based slurry on brick/stone structures people thought they were doing them a favor-but generally it traps in moisture and erodes the brick/stone. This girl needs a restoration job, but honestly doesn’t look too bad.

    This is where that Michigan Road Heritage Trail could help! Get right on that.

  2. Lone Primate Avatar
    Lone Primate

    I guess in this case it’s NOT all water under the bridge. :) That run looks pretty dry… is it typically or even often like that?

  3. Jim Avatar

    LP, click the “stone bridge” link in the first paragraph for another post about the bridge with photos of a wet creek. As you can see, this creek isn’t very deep anyway; you could wade in it no problem. I’ve only become acquainted with this bridge this year so I couldn’t say whether it is typically dry. I do know that there was no water in the creek at the little town of Napoleon, 30 miles north, and that the waterfall at Hanging Rock on State Road 7 was at a trickle.

  4. Jim Avatar

    Kurt: Yes, sir! …Thanks for the info about the slurry they applied. There’s so much to know.

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