History In Your Own Backyard

Gatekeepers of Hidden Treasures

Trip to St. Louis, Part 2, Day 1

April 30, 2014

Jug  Rock

Jug Rock

Steel  Deck  Truss  Bridge-1848

Steel Deck Truss Bridge-1848

2  Span  Pony  Truss  Bridge-1900

2 Span Pony Truss Bridge-1900

After being overwhelmed with steel truss bridges we jumped back onto U.S. Route 50 going thru Shoals, Indiana. As you head west out of Shoals you climb a good size hill and at the very top, to your right you’ll see “Jug Rock”. Made of sandstone, this highly unusual freak of nature is the largest free-standing table rock formation east of the Mississippi. If you’re in the area you need to stop and take a few pictures of this 42 foot giant.


Only a few miles down the road we discovered an unusual deck truss bridge built in 1848. Rebuilt over the years, the original layout featured 3 stone arches. A huge flood in the early part of the 19th century wiped out two of the stone arches which resulted in the county adding the inverted steel truss design in 1913. This bridge was on a side road just 100 feet from U.S. Route 50.

Across U.S. 50 and a few miles down the road we found a very unusual 2 span Pony Truss bridge built in 1900 featuring two different lengths of bridges with one bridge being at least a foot shorter on the side beams. They were both built at the same time but for some reason featured different engineering techniques.

It was only 10:35 and we had already discovered 9 steel truss bridges, eight of which were built prior to 1922! Next we’ll talk about crossing the Wabash River via an old railroad bridge!

Travel slowly, stop often.

Satolli Glassmeyer

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