News ReleaseFor Immediate Release - July 11, 2007
RECONSTRUCTION OF HISTORIC BRIDGE UNDERWAY AT CAMP TUSCAZOAR; RE-OPENING CEREMONY PLANNED FOR SEPTEMBERZOARVILLE, Ohio – The Zoarville Station Bridge, the only remaining bridge that uses the "through truss" design of German designer Albert Fink, has been completely refurbished and is now being reassembled at its former location at Camp Tuscazoar. To celebrate the project’s completion, the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation will host a grand re-opening ceremony for the public at the bridge site on September 15.
“The reconstruction of the Zoarville Station Bridge is a significant achievement in the history of Camp Tuscazoar and Tuscarawas County,” said David Tschantz, project manager for the Foundation. “We are extremely grateful to those individuals and groups that stepped forward to assist in completing this project. We are preserving an important piece of history. The restored bridge will certainly become another point of interest within the Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor.”
The Zoarville Station Bridge was built in 1868 to carry Tuscarawas Avenue across the Tuscarawas River in Dover by Smith, Latrobe and Company of Baltimore, Maryland, who specialized in the “through” truss design that allows traffic passed through the structure of the bridge. The bridge design also uses distinctive "Phoenix" columns -- hollow wrought-iron tubes known for their strength. The expense and difficulty in fabricating the "Phoenix" columns brought an end to the use of this design.
Originally one of three spans, this span was moved to its present site over Conotton Creek in 1905. The bridge is listed on National Register of Historic Places, the Ohio Register of Historic Places and the Historic American Engineering Record.
The Camp Tuscazoar Foundation first acquired the historic bridge from area resident Charles Lebold in 1997. Through the generosity of both public and private contributors, the restored bridge will carry the Zoar Valley Trail, the statewide Ohio-to-Erie and Buckeye Trails, and the interstate North Country Scenic Trail across Conotton Creek. The bridge will also give hikers and campers at Camp Tuscazoar access to the Ohio-Erie Canal Corridor and the towpath trail.
Much of the restoration of the individual bridge components was completed by The Makers of Hand-Forged Iron, a family-owned blacksmith shop in Logan, Ohio. There, two blacksmiths riveted parts of the bridge back together, just as the 19th-century skilled laborers did when the bridge was built. Sheldon Gantt Inc., a construction company based in Niles, Ohio, dismantled the bridge and is now reassembling the restored bridge pieces.
The grand re-opening ceremony for the bridge has been scheduled for 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15. This event will be open to the public and will feature a ribbon-cutting and other events to celebrate the bridge’s restoration. A luncheon at the camp dining hall will follow the ceremony and donations will be accepted to defray meal expenses. Additional information will be published on the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation’s website at www.tuscazoar.org as details are finalized.
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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