This week’s Pic of the week moves us up by five years to 2014. It was during our time in the US where we wanted to surprise my parents for Christmas but not before passing through Iowa and seeing some of the festivities there. Van Buren County was one of the places we stopped on our list. With the Des Moines and Fox Rivers slicing through, the county became an important place of commerce, with small villages being erected along the banks, each one having its own crossing. This included the villages of Bentonsport, Pittsburg, Bonaparte, Kilbourn, Selma, Douds and Keosaqua along the Des Moines and Milton, where this bridge is located, on the Fox River.
The bridge was originally built in 1888 by James B. Diver of Keokuk, using the truss design that was fabricated by the Penn Bridge Company of Beaver Falls, PA, and designed by Horace Horton. Originally built over the Skunk River near present-day Black Bottoms, this span was relocated to its present location over the Fox River near Milton in 1930. It is unknown whether Diver, who had built numerous bridges along the Fox River as well as in parts of southern Iowa and northern Missouri, may have had anything to do with the relocation of the structure. Closed since 2010, the bridge is easily accessible from the west side, using Chestnut Avenue from IA State Hwy. 2.
When I was there in December, much of the foliage from the bridge had died off, thus making photographing the bridge much easier than expected. Vines growing on the bridge during the spring and summer cover much of the bridge, including its Town lattice portal bracings, thus making the structure a “vegetation-like” shelter used for fishing or just chilling out. However, missing decking on parts of the bridge makes for a dangerous trek onto the structure, regardless of what purpose. Mine was for taking pictures, which when looking at it, one can see the structure as a whole behind all the tree branches, resembling somewhat a spooky appearance. When going to the bridge, it is advisable to take a couple friends with you, for it is in a remote location and appears a bit haunted. It is unknown what the bridge would’ve looked like had we had a covering of snow on the ground. But nevertheless, the trek to the bridge was worth the stop.
You can see more photos of the bridge just by clicking here. It’s the same website where you can find more facts about the bridge.