Ohio Historical Marker Dedication Date Set
SIDNEY – Plans for the unveiling of the historic Ohio marker that will be placed near the Zenas King Bowstring Bridge have been announced by Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst. The inauguration is scheduled for Saturday September 18 at 2:30 pm Barhorst applied for the grant from the alternative transport program which made the project possible.
“Due to the uncertainty as to whether our application for the historic Ohio marker would be granted,” said Barhorst, “we proceeded with the bridge’s inauguration last year. had not been accepted, we thought it would have seemed a little strange to us to dedicate the bridge more than a year after its commissioning. In fact, we learned that our application had been accepted on October 22, about a month after the inauguration ceremony.
Applying for an Ohio Historical Marker requires a local sponsor. This local sponsor can be a local historical society, civic organization, or local government. The local sponsor submits an application, is responsible for the cost of the marker, the installation of the marker and the continued maintenance of the marker after installation. Once an entry has been accepted into the marker program, Ohio History Connection Local History Services confirms the historical significance of the topic, ensures that the marker text is historically accurate, and works with the local sponsor to finalize the text. as it will appear on the marker. .
“We wrote several different versions of the text before the final draft was approved,” Barhorst said. “There is a maximum number of words allowed, and on top of that, the marker does not allow the names of any living person. We initially credited Tim and Debra Hemmelgarn, who donated the bridge to the city of Sidney, with their donation in the text. Removing their names from the text was one of the first revisions, but certainly not the last. “
“Every line of text had to be noted at the bottom of the page,” Barhorst continued. Fortunately, Ohio Historic Bridge Association president David Simmons, who has written extensively on Zenas King, was able to help not only with the final text, but also with the twelve footnotes required by the text.
Side 1 of the sign reads: “Zenas King (1818-1892) was a 19th century bridge builder whose iron bridges were widely accepted across the country. He developed his tubular bowstring bridge in 1859, patented the design in 1861, renewed the patent in 1867, and founded King Iron Bridge & Manufacturing Company in 1871. Based on the inherent strength of an arch, King’s design used less raw materials than wooden bridges and the square tubes were simple to fabricate and ship for assembly on site. His Cleveland-based company quickly built so many patented bowstrings across Ohio that they set a design standard. (Continued on the other side) ”
Side 2 reads: “(Continued on the other side) King’s tubular bowstring design sparked widespread enthusiasm for iron bridges, and in 1880 his Ohio company featured among the largest manufacturers of road bridges in the country. This bridge, built in 1879 as part of two spans crossing Loramie Creek near Fort Loramie, is one of two existing Zenas King rope bridges in Ohio. When the great flood of 1913 severely damaged the abutments of the bridge, it was sold and transferred to a private farm. Donated to the City of Sidney, the bridge was restored and moved to Tawawa Park as part of Sidney’s bicentennial celebration in 2020. ”
Once the text was finalized, production of the marker was authorized. Ohio Historical Markers are produced by Sewah Studios in Marietta, Ohio and then shipped to location. Sidney’s marker was received in May.
It was at this time that a small bronze plaque was cast in recognition of Tim and Debra Hemmelgarn’s donation to the town of Sidney. In addition, the plaque contains the names of other people whose important contributions made the project a reality. This plaque is currently mounted on a large rock at Nickol Monuments in Versailles. The rock will be placed near the historic Ohio marker.
The project received several awards. Senior LJB Bridge Engineer Daniel W. Springer is expected to attend and present two of the awards to the City of Sidney. The public is invited to attend.
Sidney Parks and Recreation Director Duane Gaier and Sidney Mayor Mike Barhorst examine the historic Ohio marker which will be placed near the Zenas King Bridge and opened on Saturday, September 18. The inauguration will take place at 2:30 p.m. near the bridge over Amos. Lake.