This next pic of the week takes us back a few years and across the big pond to Minnesota. Specifically, to Rock County, to an artificial lake as a park and lastly, to this beautiful bridge. The Schoneman Park Bridge has been in its home since 1990. The Waddell-style kingpost pony truss span was built by William S. Hewett in 1908 but at its original location- a tributary of the Rock River near the juncture with Ash Creek at where County Highway 1 is located. There were three bridges at that site prior to their replacement with the current structures in 1991: a through truss bridge over the Rock River with A-frame portals, a wooden stringer bridge over Ash Creek and this one. Because of its rarity and historic significance, county and state officials worked together with the city of Luverne to relocate the bridge to its current site. Schoneman Park was erected in 1987, using land that was donated by Dr. Ben and Rena Schoneman as well as James and Lois Van Hove. An artificial lake was established as well as plains and wetlands before the idea of a trail and crossing came to mind. After talks with the Rock County Highway Department, the Minnesota Historical Society and the Federal Highway Administration, an agreement was made in 1990 to move the bridge to Schoneman Park to be erected over a stream connecting the lake with the pond. The move was completed in October 1990. Two years later, the bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Until 2015, this bridge, with a beautiful farm backdrop as seen in this pic taken two years earlier, had been the only one of its kind left in the state. That was until the Minnesota Department of Transportation brought up another bridge to my attention which was discovered and documented in 2015. That bridge was located in Clearwater County near Bagley Lake. That structure has since been relocated to the fairgrounds. Unlike this bridge near Luverne, the Clearwater structure is just an accessory for visitors, showcasing itself as a rare example of how a bridge like the Waddell Truss helped shape America’s infrastructure over a century ago.
More pictures and facts about the Schoneman Park Bridge can be found here. All but a handful were taken by yours truly. Enjoy! 🙂 ❤