The Stone Arch Culvert Days of Butler County, Kansas

In Kansas, Cowley County is famous for its large stone arch bridges, while its neighbor, Butler County, rose to fame for its hundreds of stone arch culverts. While there were a few culverts built by the county, most of the stone arch culverts were township jobs, intended as a permanent alternative to wood structures. TheContinue reading “The Stone Arch Culvert Days of Butler County, Kansas”

Bridge Abutments

You cannot have a stone arch bridge without the bridge abutments. The abutments are the end supports for the arch(es). Abutments are different from piers. The most obvious difference is that piers are located in the stream, while the abutments are located at the ends of the bridge. However, bridge abutments do more than piers.Continue reading “Bridge Abutments”

C. C. Jamison’s Masterpiece: The Minos West Ford Bridge

Charles C. Jamison rose to be the number one stone arch bridge builder in Butler County, Kansas. Despite the premature failure of one of his very first bridges, this ambitious young man nevertheless succeeded in gaining a reputation for building quality, affordable bridges. To this day the quality of his work stands out. With well-cutContinue reading “C. C. Jamison’s Masterpiece: The Minos West Ford Bridge”

Widening a Stone Arch Bridge

Stone bridges are, historically, built to a rather narrow width. While suitable for the horse-drawn traffic they were often designed for, narrow stone bridges can pose a bit of a problem in modern vehicle applications. Rather than demolish an existing stone bridge, widening the bridge can prove a helpful alternative. Widening a stone arch bridgeContinue reading “Widening a Stone Arch Bridge”

C. C. Jamison’s 1913 Turkey Creek Bridge

In Butler County, Kansas, there are over twenty stone arch bridges. Most of these bridges were built by C. C. Jamison. C. C. Jamison was a highly prolific stone arch bridge builder, who appears to have worked primarily, if not exclusively, in Butler County. His work is characterized by high quality, which was obtained atContinue reading “C. C. Jamison’s 1913 Turkey Creek Bridge”

Kansas’s Stone Arch Bridge Tradition — Part 2

Even as the stone bridge era reached its peak in Kansas, stone began to be replaced with concrete. Kansas Shifts to Concrete Concrete was just beginning to come into its own at that time, and counties were opting for concrete where stone was not readily available. These early bridges built of concrete were designed exactlyContinue reading “Kansas’s Stone Arch Bridge Tradition — Part 2”

Kansas’s Stone Arch Bridge Tradition — Part 1

While one of the first (if not the first) stone arch bridges in Kansas was built in Leavenworth during the Civil War, most of Kansas’s stone arch bridges were built later than this. Before Stone The pinnacle of the stone arch bridge era in Kansas seems to have been around the year 1900. This isContinue reading “Kansas’s Stone Arch Bridge Tradition — Part 1”

Advantages of Solid Backing for Arches

There are many advantages to using solid backing for arching in stone arch bridge construction. The “backing” is the fill or other material placed against the outside of an arch on the inside of a bridge. The backing may simply be fill such as dirt or gravel. Large rocks thrown in are better than justContinue reading “Advantages of Solid Backing for Arches”

Waterline Deterioration: The Achilles Heel of Limestone Bridges

Stone arch bridges made of limestone suffer greatly from deterioration of the stonework at the waterline. Limestone is a soft, sedimentary rock that is always a favorite with stone masons. It is reasonably hard, reasonably easy to shape, and is usually enduring. However, one of its worst faults is that it deteriorates easily in water.Continue reading “Waterline Deterioration: The Achilles Heel of Limestone Bridges”

The Polecat Creek Bridge

Polecat Creek Bridge is a simple, single-arch bridge in southwest Butler County, Kansas. This bridge is located near Douglass, spanning Polecat Creek on 230th Street in Richland Township. It is the only stone arch bridge in Butler County that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Setting Polecat Creek Bridge is anContinue reading “The Polecat Creek Bridge”