On December 28th, 2008, the Shiawassee River in Chesaning, Michigan, was swollen and ice jammed. Its swift current piled ice and debris against a historic wrought iron truss bridge and ripped it from poorly designed piers. This rare historic truss design bridge would eventually be scrapped and recycled. Another craftsman’s unwritten record lost. Historic Chesaning Bridge, known as the Parshallburg Bridge, was built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Co. of Canton, Ohio, in 1889 and moved to Chesaning, Michigan, in 1999. At the time of its destruction, I salvaged bridge members of the twisted wrought iron for educational opportunities, and now, fourteen years later, sections of the historic Parshallburg Bridge are being prepared as an educational tool at Lansing Community College. Instructors have been given polished and etched wrought iron from the bridge that reveals the unique characteristics of historic wrought iron. In addition, instructors received a written description of wrought iron and the history of the Parshallburg Bridge.
Vern Mesler 2022
For more information on the Parshallburg Bridge, visit Nathan Holth’s website (search: historicbridges Parshallburg Bridge).