The South



While not as active market for the King Bridge Company as the Northeastern and Midwestern states, there were some notable King bridges built in the South.


BALTIMORE – THE Cedar Avenue Bridge -1890- The most important for the company was the Cedar Street Bridge in Baltimore, a spandrel bridge which used an advanced technology for its time and is known to bridge historians. Pictures of it were included in the company catalogues of the 1890s as shown below. It was removed to make way of an interstate highway connection some years ago.


A number of local and state authorities in number of southern states have had programs to restore their historic bridges and among them a number of King bridges.




1. The Waverly Street Bowstring – 1892 –Westernport, Alleghany County

An 1892 Bowstring known as the Waverly Street Bridge in Westernport, Alleghany County, Maryland, which was listed in the State’s historic bridge inventory in 1984 (Ref: AL-V1-D-308). Thanks to B. Chute for sending us this reference with a photo on 8/9/04.


2. and 3. Two Bowstring in  Frederick County

This county in Western Maryland has a large number of historic bridges which have been beautifully documented (see the web site references below) . Two of these are King bowstrings built in 1879 and 1880  respectively.





1. Happy’s Bridge -1885 – Marion, Smyth County

Also  known as the Chillhowie Street Bridge, this 85 foot Pratt truss, just off Main Street, was recently restored and proudly bears its King Bridge Company plate. It is included in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s survey of metal truss bridges of 1997.(See PRESERVATION section for more details)


2. The Roaring Creek Bowstring at the  Iranto Rest Stop, I-81 -1878   Christianburg, Montgomery Co. This bowstring bridge was originally located in Bedford, Virginia and was relocated to its present site at an Interstate Highway rest stop where it is cited as the oldest iron bridge in the State.


  1. The CSX Beam Girder at the Catawba River – 1907- McDowell County

Brad Burton, the Zoning Administrator and Code Enforcement Officer  of the City of Brevard, North Carolina took these pictures of a 1907 beam girder railroad bridge across the North Fork of the Catawba River in McDowell County near Route 221 while on a trip to inspect hurricane damage  in the floodplain of the river. Apparently the bridge, which is still used by CSX trains, was strong enough to withstand strong flood waters. It is the only existing King bridge we know of in North Carolina.


1. The Black Warrior Bowstring* – 1882-Northport, Tuscaloosa County

The Friends of Historic Northport discovered the remnants of one of the oldest iron bridges in Alabama and are making plans to move and restore it as part of a riverfront restoration area.  The history of the bridge is well documented in local records which includes correspondence from James A. King. (See PRESERVATION section for more details.)



A review of old King Bridge Company catalogues published in the 1880’s reveal that at least two major bridges were built in the Deep South after the civil war.




While not a bridge built by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, we have received a photo of a handsome bridge built by the George E. King Company of Des Moines, Iowa which was created by Zenas King nephew, George, after he learned the business from Zenas’s company where he served as an agent in the mid- west for some years. There are also some George King bridges still standing in Texas. This bridge is located in a cemetery in Athens, Georgia and Paul Nuesslein sent us this picture.




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