Spencer County Historical Society
November 6, 2003 Meeting
The President, called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM. There were eight members and eight guests present.
He introduced a retired professor from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana , who led the discussion on the Boner Bridge. Boner Bridge is the oldest iron bridge in Indiana that has been left in the same location since being built.
The "Lead County" on repairing a bridge that spans two county lines is the county on the west and north of the bridge. Since Warrick County is the "Lead County" on the restoration of the Boner Bridge, a member of the Boonville Preservation Alliance was also present.
The professor has done extensive research on the bridges in Indiana and written several books and phamplets on bridges.
He had one phamplet, "Pyeatt's Mill or Boner Bridge: Treasures on the Byways", which has the history of the Boner Bridge and shows different ways that the bridge could be restored. He said that the bridge was a wrought iron bridge which is much stronger than a cast iron bridge as one report has it listed.
The bridge is now rated at three tons and Warrick County wants it rated at 12 tons. He said that with simple repair, according to information put into the computer, analysis shows that the bridge could carry 7-9 tons and the integrity of the bridge would not be lost.
A representative of the Indiana Historic Landmarks Southwest Field Office stated that he was nominating the bridge for listing on the National Historic Register. He suggested that someone do conceptual drawings of the bridge with repairs that would not destroy the historical integrity of the bridge. This information needs to be given to the county commissioners who may not understand all the technical jargon of the engineers.
After much discussion, the professor said that he would revise his report on improvements to the bridge with engineers' recommendations, and take it, along with the Boner Bridge history report, to meetings of the Warrick County Commisioners and Newburgh historical people. Our president suggested putting this information in their hands before the meeting to give them time to review it.
It was the general consensus that the community needs to let the commissioners know that this project is important.
A representative from the Friends of Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum was introduced. She gave us information on what the group was doing for the Village. She is returning to the next meeting.
A member made a motion to pay the professor's expenses for his trip to Rockport. It was seconded. The professor suggested that we hold the expense check as a "rain check" as for now Historic Landmarks has been covering his expenses.
Another meeting was set for Tuesday, November 18, 2003 at 6:30 PM.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:55 PM.