Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Rainbow Bridge

Rainbow Bridge
Rainbow Bridge viewed from replacement bridge just downstream
This is a photo of the rainbow bridge located south of Lake City, Iowa spanning the North Raccoon River. I remember trips to visit Great Grandma Clara (Ross) Fowlie in the early 1980s and this bridge was one thing we occasionally visited. She liked to tell the story of the old resort from the 1920s that was there. It may not be directly related to genealogy, but since my father's family lived a few miles from the bridge, I'm sure the location holds many family memories.

Rainbow Bridge over the Racoon River viewed from upstream
Rainbow bridge as viewed from upstream

The bridge was documented and added to the Library of Congress's Historic American Engineering Record in the mid 1990s. According to the documentation, hundreds of this type of bridge were constructed, but this was the only three span one in the US. Only a few of the bridges remain. This one was closed to vehicle traffic in 1985 and it sits as the centerpiece of Rainbow Bend Park. Unfortunately it appears that it is a frequent target for local youths armed with cans of spray paint. Check out the HAER survey on the Library of Congress website IA-46. It has 2 drawings, 8 photos and a dozen pages of written documentation describing it's construction in 1914 to it's closure and bypass in 1985.