Here’s a rarity that one will see at a market or second-hand shop: A framed tile painting of a horse and buggy crossing a double-leaf bascule bridge spanning a canal in a town in the Netherlands. While these bridges were easy to find there (and in parts of Belgium, northern Germany and all of Denmark), it took lots of efforts to paint these pictures on tile, for it has to be done while the clay was forming, before it was glazed and heated in the oven. This painting, acquired recently at a market in Germany, will be one of many items that will be auctioned off at this year’s Historic Bridge Weekend, taking place August 9-12 in eastern Iowa.
We need your help!
We are now collecting bridge memorabilia and other items for the four-day long event, which can include (but are not limited to): photos and postcards of bridges in Iowa, the US, Europe and elsewhere, as well as books, glass and ceramic ware, and even bridge parts (like stones from bridge piers and metal parts from truss bridges) to be either auctioned off or given away in a raffle drawing. The raffle drawing will take place during the Dedication Dinner honoring James Hippen at the Stone City General Store and Restaurant near Anamosa, on Friday August 9th. The silent auction will take place on Sunday August 11th during the dinner and presentations at Bos Landen Golf Course in Pella. Proceeds from both events will go to the bridge projects that are ongoing even as this is being posted. Apart from the book project on Iowa’s truss bridges, this includes the restoration of the McIntyre Bowstring Arch Bridge in Poweshiek County and the restoration of the Wagon Wheel Bridge near Boone, which includes establishing a memorial in memory of Kathlynn Shepard, who was kidnapped and murdered last month (her body was found at the Kate Shelley Viaduct just south of the bridge).
If you have any items you wish to part ways with and donate for a good cause, you can bring them with you to the Historic Bridge Weekend to give to the event coordinator in person, or contact the Chronicles at firstname.lastname@example.org and all the information will be provided as to how to get the items to the four-day event. Let’s make this raffle drawing and silent auction a success so that people can benefit from a good cause.
Homage to another Iowa Historic Bridge
For those interested in knowing more about a historic bridge that was washed away bit by bit but was rebuilt replicating the original span, we will be meeting at the Motor Mill and Bridge on Friday August 9 at 2:00pm. There, the people responsible for this successful project will provide you with a presentation and answer some questions about the history of the mill and bridge, how it was destroyed twice but was rebuilt thanks to efforts pn the part of the people of Elkader, Clayton County and the State of Iowa. Located over the Turkey River at Galaxy Road, five miles SE of Elkader, the bridge was built in 1899 by A.C. Boyle of McGregor, Iowa. The southern span was destroyed by flooding in 1991 and despite attempts of converting the northern span into an observation deck, that was destroyed by flooding 17 years later, the same flood that destroyed part of the Sutliff Bridge, the CRANDIC Railroad Bridge in Cedar Rapids and the Charles City Suspension Bridge. Thanks to the efforts on the local and state level, the bridge was rebuilt following the exact design of the original bridge, and has been reopened to traffic since October 2012. The Chronicles conducted an interview with the organization in charge and will post this very soon.
Don’t forget to register for the Evening Dinners!
You still have time before the 15th of July to register for the evening dinner and entertainment during the four-day Historic Bridge Weekend. Please contact the Chronicles at email@example.com or JDSmith77@gmx.net to obtain and fill out the registration form before sending it back. Payment will be accepted at the site of the events, together with the items to be given away/ auctioned off. If you are not interested in the dinner but would like to join the fun in bridgehunting, let the coordinator know when and where you’ll meet and you are free to come along for the fun. As a reminder, there will be a primary bridgehunting tour with side trips for people interested in seeing the bridges on their own. The itinerary is available through Popplet, which can be accessed here:
Day 2 This is the afternoon tour for a morning guided tour will take place at 8:30am. Meeting place to be announced.
Day 4 will be a guided tour to the Kate Shelley Viaduct and the bridges in the area. Tour to begin at 10:00am at the Museum in Boone.