Can you identify the location of this bridge replaced by a two-lane structure?
Crossing the Riley
Two photographs show a former bridge crossing Big Riley Creek at the corner of Harmon Road and College Avenue in Bluffton.
Paul Diller, father of Jim Diller, photographed these in the late 1950s or very early 1960s. The photos were probably a color slide.
•This bridge was constructed for horse and buggy use. It was built in the very late 1870s.
A truly an idyllic scene, with a light snowfall dusting the creek banks, one can imagine a horse and buggy crossing the bridge.
The photo shows smoke from the former Woodcock Power Plant. We believe that Paul, on purpose, framed this smoke perfectly in the center of his photo. The Woodcock plant no longer stands. Today John’s Body Shop is on the former power plant’s property.
• The bridge was probably the first to cross the Riley on College Avenue, which was called Blanchard Avenue at the time of its construction. A sidewalk with a wooden fence separated the pedestrian from the vehicle traffic. The bridge had a characteristic shake as a vehicle crossed it.