MIAMI COUNTY —The U.S. Department of the Interior announced 24 new National Historic Landmarks this week, including Eldean Bridge in Troy.
“These 24 new designations depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music, and religious observance,” said Secretary Sally Jewell of the U.S. Department of the Interior. “Their designation ensures future generations have the ability to learn from the past as we preserve and protect the historic value of these properties and the more than 2,500 other landmarks nationwide.”
“As the National Park Service kicks off its second century of stewardship of America’s natural and historic treasures, we look forward to connecting new generations of Americans to the places and stories recognized as National Historic Landmarks today,” said National Park Service Acting Director Michael T. Reynolds.
Miami County Engineer Paul Huelskamp said that Eldean Bridge was nominated by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“We cooperated with them and made it on the National Register of Historic Places,” Huelskamp said.
Properties designated as National Historic Landmarks are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“We’re very excited about it. Of course, it’s an icon here in Miami County,” Huelskamp said.
Most of the renovations and maintenance of Eldean Bridge were funded by grants from the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges.
“We consider it an honor to have our local bridge and efforts recognized on a national level,” Huelskamp said. “A great deal of credit goes to my predecessor, Douglas L. Christian, who oversaw the renovations of the Eldean Bridge several years ago when he was county engineer. He really set the stage for this honor with his work.”
About Eldean Bridge, the U.S. Department of the Interior said, “Constructed in 1860 as the Allen’s Mill Bridge, Eldean Bridge in Miami County, Ohio, is an excellent example of nineteenth-century covered bridge construction and its span is a rare surviving Long truss, a highly significant nineteenth-century timber truss type. Eldean Bridge is the most structurally intact of less than a dozen surviving Long truss covered bridges in the United States.”
The Long truss was patented by U.S. Army engineer Stephen H. Long in 1830.
“Eldean Bridge is a two-span through truss covered wood bridge on a stone masonry pier and abutments,” according to the National Register of Historic Places.
Eldean Bridge is approximately 231 feet long, along the ridge; 21 feet wide, eave to eave; and 19 feet deep from the bottom of the floor beams to the top of the roof. Eldean Bridge also has a roadway width of 17 feet and overhead clearance of 13 feet. The trusses are approximately 15 feet deep and spaced 19 feet apart.
According to Waymarking.com, Eldean Bridge is the longest surviving example of its type. The Old Blenheim Bridge, in New York, with a total length of 232 feet in a single span was longer, but was destroyed by a flood in 2011.
The architects or builders of Eldean Bridge were James and William Hamilton of Piqua.
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