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”

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”

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”

The Building of the Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas — Part 3

The Cowley County commissioners were pleased with Butler and Greenwood’s stone arch bridges. They promptly awarded Walter Sharp the contract for a stone bridge over Timber Creek in late 1901. Walter Sharp began to spend more time in Cowley. Cowley was a new territory for Butler’s stone masons. Abe Matheney found work in Cowley beginningContinue reading “The Building of the Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas — Part 3”

The Building of the Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas — Part 2

The Sharp brothers became important in Butler County stone arch bridge building. With the construction of the double-arch Bird Creek Bridge that they built, the Sharp brothers became a fixture in Butler bridge building. What they brought to the table was economy — their bridges were comparable to steel bridges in cost, yet usually lastedContinue reading “The Building of the Stone Arch Bridges of Butler County, Kansas — Part 2”

A Stone Arch Bridge’s Weight-Handling Abilities

What factors determine the weight limit of a stone arch bridge? Arch Ring Thickness The primary factor in the weight limit of a stone bridge is how thick the arch is. Simply, the thicker the arch, the more weight a stone arch bridge can hold. Of course, there is a little more to it thanContinue reading “A Stone Arch Bridge’s Weight-Handling Abilities”

A Critical Part of Arch Building: The Centering

A crucial part of arch building is the temporary formwork used to support the arch during construction, otherwise known as the centering. The centering is necessary as the arch cannot support itself until it is completely finished.   Requirements of the Centering: Strength In fact, this centering is as critical as the arch itself; theContinue reading “A Critical Part of Arch Building: The Centering”

Stone Arch Bridges: Who Built It?

One characteristic of masonry structures in general, and stone arch bridges specifically, is the fact that the person(s) who built the bridge inevitably left behind a hallmark. Not just any and all plaques, but the workmanship itself is often telltale. Each builder has his own method, and, in the case of bridge contractors, the contractingContinue reading “Stone Arch Bridges: Who Built It?”