Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN


May 27, 2008

PAT SMITH: Stone arch bridges and their history

A Different Kind of Bridge Tournament? With a History Lesson, too! You've driven over them, walked over them, admired them, and wondered about them. In fact, three of them are within a stone's throw of South Park Cemetery. And now you and I have an opportunity to learn something about these old beauties, glorious stone arch bridges.

Sure, next Saturday there will be graduation parties and cook-outs all around the county, but I must tell you about a competitive event that you may regret if you miss. You don't have to stay for hours but do make an effort to stop in next Saturday (May 31) to see the bridge photo contest entries on display at the new Art on the Square gallery on the north side of the Courthouse Square, beginning at 9 a.m. The Decatur County Alliance for Preservation (DeCAP) is hosting this stone arch bridge photo competition for a 2009 calendar. It will be seasonal photographs of historic stone spans of Decatur County.

Judy Rust, president of DeCAP, said, "Bridges of Madison County has nothing on us!" There will be 16 framed entries, 16x20 inches each, all competing to earn a place on the calendar and available for purchase. DeCAP, in conjunction with the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, invited the Southeastern Indiana Photography Club to record the stone arch bridges of our county. Our collection of stone arches is second to none in the nation, primarily because our quarries provided the specific type of limestone needed and we had the craftsmen who knew how to put them together in the way that makes them endure.

The winners will be announced Saturday evening beginning with refreshments at 6 p.m. and a 7 p.m. address by Dr. Jim Cooper, noted bridge historian and author, who will present the story of the stone arch bridge and its connection to Decatur County. He’ll explain the historic significance and value of these grand, impressive structures, and will, I imagine, tell us something about the designers and manufacturers of the bridges. Dr. Cooper, an historic bridge consultant, is a Professor Emeritus of History at DePauw University, and President of the Board of Directors of the Historic Bridge Foundation of Austin, Texas, the most prominent national bridge preservation organization. He has written several books about various styles of bridges including, "Repairing and Restoring Historic Bridges - Keeping Faith With Their Makers," "Restoring Historic Metal Truss Bridges," "Artistry and Ingenuity in Artificial Stone - Indiana's Concrete Bridges 1900-1942," and "Iron Monuments to Distant Posterity - Indiana' metal Bridges 1870-1930."

Text Only
  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Early Migratory Bird 2014 Season Dates The 2014 early migratory bird season dates have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Indiana DNR as listed below. The dates are not final until the USFWS approves them, which typically hap

    July 24, 2014

  • Why incumbents get reelected Incumbents are masters at posing as outsiders, when in fact they are insiders who produce the Congress they disdain. It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its

    July 24, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 24, 2014

  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

  • Shining a light on the Federal Reserve If you are like most Americans, you probably have heard of the Federal Reserve. But, you may not know much about what the Fed actually does or the very real ways its decisions impact your day-to-day life. The Federal Reserve was founded by Congress i

    July 22, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens the urgency of lawmaker's mission INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrant

    July 22, 2014

  • fea-gb072214 Spaulding column jpg Spaulding Outdoors: The inside on Indiana's outside Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshopsTwo free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources. The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there will be

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thankful for our veterans' sacrifice On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.