BHC Pic of the Week Nr. 203

This Pic of the Week keeps us in the same year of 2013 but takes us to Forestville State Park in Fillmore County, MN. This park features a well-kept historic village, some living history with people reenacting the life in the late 1800s and this beauty. The Forestville Bridge is a 101-foot long, pin-connected Pratt through truss bridge that was built in 1899 by the Gillette-Herzog Bridge and Manufacturing Company in Minneapolis. While this company belonged to the Minneapolis School of Bridge Building, being with the likes of Alexander Bayne, the Hewett family, Lawrence H. Johnson and Commodore Jones, this company was one of 28 that joined the American Bridge Company conglomerate, less than two years later, in 1901. It was the only one from this school that would join.

The bridge company built multiple structures in the state with many fancy ornamental features on the portal bracings, and this structure is no exception, when looking at its A-frame portal, the ornaments on top and the builder’s plaque in the center. The introduction of the A-frame portal in ca. 1890 which replaced the lattice portals is represented in this bridge, marking the changing of the design of the through truss bridge, which would culminate with the introduction of standardized truss bridge designs with riveted connections by 1915.

Even though the bridge has been closed to vehicles since 2009, it’s still accessable by bike or by foot and has been on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is part of the state park, which means it is receiving a lot of maintenance and will continue to serve as a crossing over the South Branch Root River. It’s a must see and while you are at it, experience what we had during the Historic Bridge Weekend in 2013: Living History. There’s a guided tour and entertainment available at the park. It’s definitely worth the visit. 🐎🤠

Information on the bridge:

Information on the Forestville State Park and Caves: