News ReleaseFor Immediate Release - July 25, 1997
FINK TRUSS BRIDGE NOW PART OF CAMP TUSCAZOARZOARVILLE, Ohio – The historic Fink Truss Bridge, located along an abandoned stretch of State Route 212 just north of Camp Tuscazoar, has been donated to the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation by area resident Charles Lebold. In a related move, the Foundation has purchased three tracts of land from the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District totaling slightly more than 18 acres. These purchases provide the camp with waterfront access along the Tuscarawas River and link the Fink Truss Bridge to the camp.
The Fink Truss Bridge, also known as the Zoarville Station Bridge is the only known bridge in existence that uses the "through truss" design developed by German designer Albert Fink. The bridge was constructed in the late 1860's near Dover and was moved to its present location in 1905. The Fink Truss Bridge is now listed on National Register of Historic Places, the Ohio Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Engineering Record.
"We are pleased to lead the effort to preserve this unique structure and we owe a great debt to Mr. Lebold for his generosity," said Ted Novak, president of the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation. "Our efforts will continue to focus on improving our camp’s facilities for hikers and campers, but the opportunity to preserve this historic structure could not be passed by. After its restoration, the bridge will certainly be a popular hiking destination for our visitors and another point of interest within the Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor."
The Foundation is now working with the Ohio and Erie Canal Corridor Coalition to secure donations of labor, materials and dollars to restore the aging bridge, which is presently too deteriorated to cross safely. Once repairs are complete, the bridge will be a key stop along the Zoar Valley Trail, allowing hikers to cross the Connotton Creek.
The Fink Truss Bridge was constructed by Smith, Latrobe and Company on behalf of the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O) Railroad as part of an extensive all-metal bridge system. The design is called a "through" truss because traffic passed through the structure of the bridge.
This bridge design also used distinctive "Phoenix" columns -- hollow wrought-iron tubes known for their strength. But the expense and difficulty in fabricating the "Phoenix" columns brought an end to the use of this design.
The Camp Tuscazoar Foundation, Inc. is an Ohio non-profit corporation founded in 1986 for the purpose of purchasing, maintaining and perpetuating Camp Tuscazoar for use by scouts, church groups, school groups and other community organizations. Camp Tuscazoar is located on Boy Scout Road, two miles east of Zoar, near Zoarville.
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