Dunn’s Bridge, Porter County, Indiana

We leave our house in Michigan later than planned, hours later, we rescheduled, now we are on time. A lot of sounds emanate from our car as soon as the Start Button is pressed, clicking, buzzing, dinging, ticking, automated voices, some stern, some soft. Once we leave the neighborhood we are in the midst of a community of drivers, strangers we never met, sometimes trailing, sometimes leading. We’re driving south to pick up wrought iron rivets, first making a stop near Kouts, Indiana. Nan discovered from her pre-trip research an interesting riveted bridge spanning the Kankakee River near Kouts, and when we get there Vern unpacks his MAVIC Air 2 drone after a long period of inactivity. He attaches his iPhone to the remote controller, and the DJI Fly app signals MAVIC is ready to fly. Flying cautiously toward the Dunn’s Bridge trusses, hovering over the muddy Kankakee River’s swift rivet current, MAVIC responds quickly and takes detailed photographs of the truss. It was pleasurable stop at a well-maintained county park in a beautiful scenic area. Porter County Parks and Recreation provides a plaque with some history of the Dunn’s Bridge: The origin of Dunn’s Bridge County Park has become the stuff of legend. Most historians agree that the bridge was built by a farmer named J.D. Dunn, whose property was bisected by the Kankakee River. But beyond that, the facts are a bit murky. Some say the bridge was built in the mid-1890s using steel beams salvaged from the 1893 Columbian World’s Fair in Chicago. Others contend the bridge was built using pieces of the original Ferris Wheel, which premiered at the fair and was dismantled after the 1904 World’s Fair [in St Louis]. 

Vern Mesler, 2024

Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024
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Dunn’s Bridge over the Kankakee River south of Kouts, Indiana 2024

Historic Bridge Restoration