bellford needs help

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Bell Ford Covered Bridge Needs Help

A National Treasure is in the White River
The East span of the Bell Ford Bridge collapsed into White River January 2, 2006.
This historic engineering structure is the only remaining Post Diagonal Combination Bridge in the world. It could not withstand the abuse of time. Bell Ford gave faithful service to many citizens and created several fortunes.

Most donations have come from outside our county from visitors as well as former citizens. It can be restored. I would like to see what a Purdue engineer can do, an IU fan. Most ironwork on the first span is finished. Timber members are waiting to be repaired.

Quantitative data is necessary now. If you have visited this bridge would you e-mail or mail information to: Fleeta K. Arthur, 6594 W. St. Rd. 58, Brownstown, IN. 47220

There are many levels of significance to the Bell Ford Bridge in addition to the design.
A).Three identified patents exist on this bridge. Fourth is under investigation.
B). America's landscape was altered and enhanced by three generations of civil engineers of the Simeon S. Post family.
C). Simeon S. Post was one of twelve founding members of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
D). Historical rail connections between the New York and Erie railroad and the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad that passed through southern Indiana established Seymour as the crossroads of southern Indiana. Historical figures included D. C. McCallum who won acclaim during the Civil War, George B. McClellan, and W. J. McAlpine.
E). An additional historical figure who utilized the "combination bridge" design was G. M. Dodge although he was connected with the Post truss through another bridge company established by L B. Boomer of Chicago, Illinois. The Post design spanned the continent.

Sources: Biographical Information ASCE Simeon S. Post 1872, Andrew J. Post, "Iron Age," American Bridge Co. and Richard S. Allen, and U. S. Military Reports for Civil War and American Railroad Journals 1849-1872.

© 2006 Fleeta K. Arthur. All rights reserved. Further electronic transmissions forbidden except to that website which received original documentation.


This bridge is a national treasure and does not belong to Jackson County. It belongs to the nation.

The Park and Recreation Board will continue to seek funding and restore the first collapsed span and store the second span until funds become available for completing the project. If you would like to help send donations to:

Jackson County Auditor, Fund 31
Bell Ford Covered Bridge
Courthouse, Brownstown, IN. 47220

Brownstown Indiana
March 26, 2006

Dear Mr. Nelson:
    This is not what I wanted to send to the Society [about] Bell Ford, but I would appreciate your posting this material especially about visitors to the bridge. Nobody in this area seems to realize that people visit this bridge site and that it has economic power for the community.
    Thanking you in this matter,
        Sincerely, Fleeta K. Arthur

[The 330-foot Bell's Ford Covered Bridge, WGN 14-36-03, was built in 1869 using the Post Truss to cross the East Fork of the White River in two spans, near Seymour, Indiana, connecting Hamilton and Jackson Townships - 1989 Ed., World Guide to Covered Bridges]

Bell's Ford Bridge. Photo provided by Fleeta K. Arthur 3/26/06
Bell's Ford Bridge. Photo provided by Fleeta K. Arthur 3/26/06 Bell's Ford Bridge. Photo provided by Fleeta K. Arthur 3/26/06

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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted April 2, 2006