The 1893 Lamb’s Creek Bridge on Old State Road 67 in Morgan County, Indiana

My longtime friend Dawn and I resumed our annual road-trip tradition on October 1 as we explored the oldest alignments of State Road 67 southwest from Indianapolis, working our way to its endpoint at Vincennes. We made it about two-thirds of the way before it got late and we grew tired. I’ll share highlights from the trip here and there, and will write up the entire trip properly for my Friday road trips series in due time.

State Road 67 brushes past Martinsville just beyond its eastern boundary. About a half mile south of where you turn left to head into Martinsville, an old alignment of SR 67 splits off on your right.

About a mile from there southbound SR 67 crosses this terrific old bridge over Lamb’s Creek.

1893 Lambs Creek Bridge

Built in 1893 by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, OH, this is a Pratt through truss design. As I researched this bridge, I found its page at the Historic American Engineering Record and was amused to find that a long-ago photographer parked his car in about the same place as me for his similar image.

Based on damage I see in this photograph, the HAER photographer visited here before this bridge’s restoration, which was probably in the 2004-2006 timeframe based on the best information I can find.

I’m trying to recall how many Pratt bridges I’ve seen with cables for its diagonal members. I’m used to the diagonals being girders just like the framing of the truss here. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pratt bridge where diagonals cross like an X at the center.

1893 Lambs Creek Bridge

Here’s a view of those cables.

1893 Lambs Creek Bridge

This is a pin-connected bridge. Here’s where several of the members come together overhead.

1893 Lambs Creek Bridge

Builder’s plates on either end are in terrific condition.

1893 Lambs Creek Bridge

The old highway continues its southwestward journey beyond the bridge. This narrow road is typical of the highways Indiana built in the 1920s. It’s probably 14 or 16 feet wide.

SB Old SR 67 towards Hyndsdale, IN

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


9 responses to “The 1893 Lamb’s Creek Bridge on Old State Road 67 in Morgan County, Indiana”

  1. P Avatar

    A “terrific old bridge,” indeed. Thanks for sharing, Jim. Let’s hope this one continues to survive those who are all too anxious to destroy historical bridges and replace them with modern, grotesque junk.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      It’s off the beaten path, on a lightly traveled road. It might also be on the NRHP — I’m too busy to look right now. I think it’s secure for many years to come.

  2. Phil Avatar

    In the early 1970s I went south from Indy on way to Ar, then back north with 18 wheeler, loaded both ways, on 67.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Nice. You got to drive over some truss bridges that aren’t there anymore then!

  3. Warren W Jenkins Avatar
    Warren W Jenkins

    Old alignment plus old bridge = gold, Jim, gold! (Seinfeld reference)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Gold indeed!

  4. Roger Deschner Avatar
    Roger Deschner

    Many other pin-connected bridges feature rods in tension for diagonals, instead of solid girders. Two examples I just visited are the Kankakee River State Line Drive Bridge on the Illinois-Indiana state line, and the Renwick Road Bridge in Plainfield, Illinois. A remarkable aspect of many of these bridges is that the bottom member (“chord”) consists of a “chain” of pin-connected eyebars, instead of a solid beam. This gives them a lot more flexibility to handle changing live loads and temperatures.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Good to know. I may only have not encountered very many like that before, making me surprised by this one!

  5. […] The 1893 Lamb’s Creek Bridge on Old State Road 67 in Morgan County, Indiana — Down the Road […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: