launched to recognize
historic stone arch bridges
Ford Bridge to be nominated
for historic register
(April 2008) Members of the Ripley County
Commission enthusiastically endorsed a proposed project to nominate
Center Townships Straber Ford Bridge to the National Register
of Historic Places. Kent Abraham, of Historic Landmarks Foundation of
Indiana, presented the project to the commissioners at the Jan. 28 meeting.
Straber Ford stone arch crosses
at County Road 500 North in
Ripley County, Ind.
Abraham described the project as part of a regional effort
to raise awareness of the historic importance of stone arch bridges
in Indiana. The southeast counties have one of the largest concentrations
in the Midwest, Ripley County first among them. Listing on the National
Register is one way of highlighting their importance.
Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana gained financial support of
the project from the Efroymson Fund, a generous benefactor of historic
preservation causes throughout the state. Ball State Universitys
Center for Historic Preservation, a community outreach service, will
prepare the nomination. There is no cost to Ripley County.
The Straber Ford Bridge, crossing Otter Creek on County Road 500N, was
chosen for its wonderful state of preservation. A plaque noting the
listing will be installed upon approval. A successful listing could
lead to the nomination of other bridges.
Listing on the National Register is mostly an honor, explained Abraham.
It raises awareness and appreciation, which will hopefully encourage
preservation. It can open the door to some funding for maintenance and
restoration. He said the stone arches of Ripley County are one of its
distinctive treasures and have the same kind of appeal that covered
bridges do for residents and visitors to the area. They are worth the
proper investment, he added.
The nomination will be prepared this summer. Nominations are also being
prepared for bridges in Shelby and Decatur counties. Official listing
of the Straber Ford Bridge is anticipated in 2009.
Back to April 2008 Articles.