No one can say for sure how Dearborn County Bridge #15 acquired the more dramatic name “Lost Bridge.” Stand on its steel deck, however, where it crosses Laughery Creek on Bells Branch Road, and you feel like you are somewhere far, far away.
Its remoteness, six miles upstream from the Ohio River, is distinctive. Which makes coming suddenly upon its freshly painted bright red iron trusses in the middle of nowhere all the more startling. The builder’s plaque says it was constructed by the Oregonia Bridge Company of Lebanon, Ohio, in 1916. But its recent rehabilitation might, at first, make that seem like yesterday. The modern paved approaches and guardrails are the only clues to give away its twenty-first-century status.
Dearborn County rehabilitated the historic Lost Bridge a couple of years ago, using federal Transportation Enhancement Funds. A better case for the program would be difficult to find. Here is the perfect example of how a poem of place is written, where the engineer’s lines of iron intersect with geography’s cadence of natural scenery. This is why we call a historic bridge of such distinction a “cultural resource.”
Check out more details and images of the Lost Bridge of southeast Indiana at the Bridgehunter’s web site: http://bridgehunter.com/in/dearborn/1500014/.
For another treat, be sure to check out the Laughery Creek “Triple Whipple” Bridge, a one-of-a-kind bridge with a funny name and an inspiring story.
About Hidden Gems Indiana
Each week Indiana Landmarks uses insider knowledge to highlight historic places worth a visit, from the quirky to the sublime: small towns, neighborhoods, restaurants, shops, parks, cemeteries, scenic drives, museums -- you get the idea. Learn more about Indiana Landmarks at www.indianalandmarks.org.