[graphic] Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
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Zoarville Bridge
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[photo] Zoarville Station Bridge
Courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Veronica Glashauckas and Library of Congress, Historic American Engineering Record: Survey number HAER OH-84

The Zoarville Bridge, built in 1868, is the only remaining Fink through truss bridge that exists in the United States. Albert Fink, an engineer who worked for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, invented the Fink truss and patented his design in 1851. The Fink through truss design created a stronger all metal bridge, allowing more locomotive traffic than earlier wooden bridges. The Zoarville Bridge was a modification of the Fink through truss design to reduce the number of posts and ties used. The bridge was constructed as part of the three-span Factory Street Bridge over the Tuscarawas River in the city of Canal Dover. Smith, Latrobe and Company of Baltimore, Maryland specialized in Fink truss bridge construction, and erected the bridge—now the sole surviving bridge erected by this company. The primary men of Smith, Latrobe and Company at this time were leaders in American civil engineering. The company was founded in 1866 with Charles Shaler Smith as president and chief engineer, consulting engineer Benjamin Henry Latrobe Jr., vice-president Charles Hazlehurst Latrobe and chief superintendent Frederick Henry Smith.

[photo] Historic view of Zoarville Station Bridge, late 1800s
Courtesy of Dover Historical Society Website

The Zoarville Bridge is also distinguished by its round iron columns similar to those manufactured by the Phoenix Iron Company of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania and unusual ornamentation which is essential to the structure. The bridge is more than 108 feet long by 17 feet wide and 20 feet high. One span of the original three-span bridge was moved in 1905 to its present location over Conotton Creek in Zoarville, approximately eight miles northeast of Dover. It replaced a wooden covered bridge on the same site and was in turn abandoned in the 1940s after the state highway was relocated. Under another restoration project the Zoarville Bridge will be incorporated into a bike trail connected by the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail.

The Zoarville Bridge is located across Conotton Creek, east of Ohio State Hwy 800, in Zoarville. The Zoarville Station Bridge has also been documented by the Historic American Engineering Survey.

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