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Two state bridges added to U.S. historic register

Two state bridges added to U.S. historic register

This article first appeared in the Tulsa World

by: RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer
Sunday, March 29, 2009
3/29/2009 3:39:17 AM

Two area bridges are among four properties added this month to the National Register of Historic Places, the State Historic Preservation Office has announced.

The Little Cabin Creek Bridge, near Vinita in Craig County, and the Opossum Creek Bridge, near South Coffeyville in Nowata County, made the list. Also chosen were the Washington and Huston elementary schools in Blackwell in Kay County.

The National Register is an honorary designation recognizing properties for their architectural or historical significance, said Lynda Schwan, National Register Program Coordinator for the State Historic Preservation Office.

Located about 1 1/2 miles southeast of Vinita, the Little Cabin Creek Bridge, which formerly was on Route 66, was constructed in the mid-1930s.

At 388 feet long, it combines a 95-foot Parker pony truss with eight I-beam steel stringer approach spans, according to a nomination prepared by Anna Eddings, an architectural historian with Oklahoma Department of Transportation.

The five-panel, Parker pony truss was a favorite of the state's highway engineers, as evidenced by its use from the 1920s through the 1950s.

The stone-arched Opossum Creek Bridge, constructed in 1913, is roughly two miles southwest of South Coffeyville along unpaved county road NS-413. Styled from limestone blocks, the bridge is 44 feet from abutment to abutment, with an arch opening of 35 feet.

It is among only 15 remaining bridges of its kind in the state.

According to research compiled by Eddings, stone arches likely represent some of the oldest bridges in the country because they last longer than timber bridges and were likewise built before fabricated metal became available.

The Little Cabin Creek Bridge is rated as structurally deficient, meaning it needs significant maintenance, repairs or replacement, records show. The stone bridge in Nowata County is listed in satisfactory condition, according to the State Historic Preservation Office.

The Blackwell schools were recognized for their association with mid-20th century improvements in educational facilities and as excellent examples of mid-20th century modern architecture by the firm of Caudill, Rowlett, Scott and Associates.

The schools were constructed between 1955 and 1959.

Rhett Morgan 581-8395

Associate Images:


The Little Cabin Creek Bridge is a rare example of a Parker pony truss bridge, located on Route 66 in Craig County. Courtesy


Opossum Creek Bridge near South Coffeyville in Nowata County is one of only 15 stone arch bridges remaining in the state. Both were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Courtesy

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