This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Potawatomi Park and bowstring bridge dedication

A large crowd of people attended the Potawatomi Park and bowstring bridge dedication this morning. The event started with a traditional ribbon cutting.
Mayor Wood was the master of ceremonies and had some comments as well. County Historian Judy Kanne spoke briefly of the Potawatomie Indians that at one time camped at the site of the falls of the Iroquois to catch fish and of the proposal in the 1920s or 1930s to name what is now the parking lot on the north side of the bridge Potawatomie park. Rick Odle spoke about the trees that the Rensselaer Urban Forestry Council had planted and about a special tree dedicated to former Mayor Herb Arihood.
 Several students from the Rensselaer Middle School, who researched the bridge and had a couple of lengthy articles published by the Rensselaer Republican helped raise the flag, which was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Mayor Wood then spoke a bit about how the park project developed and mentioned some of the key people in pushing the project forward. Finally, Robert Lewis of the Jasper County Historical Preservation Association substituted for James Cooper, a retired professor from DePauw and a bridge expert. Mr Cooper wrote a 17 page report (that I hope will be made available on the city's website) about what he could learn about the history of the bridge. There were two almost similar bowstring bridges build on the Rensselaer to Remington road by the Ohio Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio in the 1880s, one near Remington over Carpenter Creek and another over the Hoover Slough. Most accounts suggest that the surviving bridge is the one that was over the Hoover Slough, but Cooper thinks it more likely it is the one from near Remington because the size of the existing bridge (about 50 feet) is the same size as the one that was proposed for the Carpenter Creek bridge (50 feet) and not the size of the one proposed for the Hoover Slough (60 feet).

Within a minute of the closing remarks, the skies opened up and the rain poured down.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the news report.