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  Texas : Architecture : Bridges :

Remembering
The Oriana / Peacock Camelback Truss Bridge
over the Salt Fork of the Brazos River
Oriana, Texas
Peacock, Texas

The Oriana Camelback Truss Bridge was built by the Missouri Valley Bridge & Iron Co., Leavenworth, Kansas. Completed in June 1917, the concrete supports collapsed by October of that year and repairs were made by The Austin Brothers, Bridge Company of Dallas. The bridge was closed to traffic in 1995. The Salt Fork of the Brazos had a second (railroad) bridge at the site - removed sometime after 1968.
Oriana  Camelback Truss Bridge over the Salt Fork Brazos River  Peacock Texas
The Oriana Camelback Truss Bridge
Photo courtesy William Holmes

Stonewall County Serendipity

Editor's Note: William Holmes' excellent photograph of the Oriana bridge was sent in on January 14th. Two days later we heard from Delores (Deanie) Miles who was sending in the date of this year's Peacock, Texas reunion. We asked Ms. Miles what she knew of the bridge - which (with the help of her many friends) turned out to be quite a bit. At the very least it prompted a page to be written for the ghost town of Oriana, Texas - insuring that that town will also be remembered. These memories and stories maybe short and sweet but after reading them you'll never pass another vintage bridge without thinking of what may have taken place on, near (or under) these rusting (and seemingly forgotten) structures. - Editor
Autoist Travelers, Beware!

"Stonewall County can boast of 153.19 miles of paved highways in this year of 1979, but it has not always been so. In May 1919 the following letter was received and published by the Aspermont Star:

"All autoist travelers are hereby advised if possible to dodge Stonewall County owing to conditions and customs prevaling there. The road between Peacock and Jayton is very bad. There is no crossing at the Brazos River, and no attempt being made to fix one. It will cost you $1.00 to be pulled over by teams, besides damaging your car. There is graft also in being pulled through the sand. Unless compelled to go through Stonewall County, better dodge it". CS Mitchell


In 1932 Highways 32 and 18 were designated across the county. Paving was begun in 1935 and the cost of the project was approximately half a million dollars which included the construction of two huge bridges. TxDoT maintains an office and yard in Aspermont with 10 full-time employees and about 28 major pieces of equipment. - Rita Graham Trammell - from the 1979 book: Stonewall County Between the Forks of the Brazos
Quicksand, Watermelons and Water Moccasins

"We used to have parties under the bridge but I may be thinking of the New River Bridge. I know we went swimming there. Helen K. will probably remember that I almost drowned there once and once we were scared by a water moccasin - or so we believed it to be. I can't remember if there was quicksand there or if it was under the new bridge. We used to bust watermelons on the bridge and spin our tires."

Most of these people that had the photos and knew the area history are deceased now. We younger ones are beginning to regret we did not write down more of the stories they told for our children who we were then busy raising." - Delores Miles

Ms. Miles' request to her former classmates brought several responses, including this letter from Helen Newman, who wrote:

"Deanie, Our little community can stand all the good publicity we can get. I do have some information about the river bridge. I still have a scar from being cut by a piece of glass while wading under that bridge during a class party."
See
The "Old River Bridge"
by Jean Collom Bachman
Photographer's Note:
Dear TE, I searched your site, but did not find this bridge on your list of Texas bridges. I found this one crossing the Salt Fork of the Brazos River, within a mile of Peacock. I'm guessing it dates from 1920s. Does [anyone] know anything about the history of this bridge? Thank you. - William Holmes, Arlington, Texas, January 14, 2007
Anyone wishing to share additional stories about the bridge now known as The Oriana Camelback Truss Bridge over the Salt Fork of the Brazos River, please contact us.
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