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Old 12-11-2016, 08:20 PM
 
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I have been trying to Google to find history/background of a bridge that was demolished, it was built in 1919 and according to the bronze builder's plaque I own that was on the bridge, it was named Peter's Bridge.
The only thing I came up with was a few lines in a 1919 Engineering Record publication mentioning that the named contractor on the plaque was to build the bridge for $50,000 over Mill Creek, along with a second smaller bridge.

I was looking for photos and anything else that might be of interest.

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Old 12-12-2016, 05:39 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
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No idea. See if the Lehigh County Historical Society can help.

Welcome to LCHS

Peters Bridge? Maybe the guy's last name was Peters.

Where did you get that?
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sculptor View Post
I have been trying to Google to find history/background of a bridge that was demolished, it was built in 1919 and according to the bronze builder's plaque I own that was on the bridge, it was named Peter's Bridge.
The only thing I came up with was a few lines in a 1919 Engineering Record publication mentioning that the named contractor on the plaque was to build the bridge for $50,000 over Mill Creek, along with a second smaller bridge.

I was looking for photos and anything else that might be of interest.
I think the sellers of the plaque were probably mistaken that this came from Lehigh County. There is a 17 mile Peters' Creek in Washington and Allegheny Counties in Western PA and you may be able to request some help from them.

40.304486, -79.881550 is the lat and long where Peters' Creek vanishes under an industrial district on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh.

If you look at the plaque it says Peters' Bridge and not Peter's Bridge.

There is even a Peters Creek Pub 2103 Rankintown Rd, Finleyville, PA (724) 348-6607

If the township can't help you, then try contacting the Peters' Creek Watershed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peters..._(Pennsylvania)
Washington County, PA - Official Website

Contact and Information From PCWA

Last edited by PacoMartin; 12-16-2016 at 10:16 AM..
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Old 12-17-2016, 11:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
I think the sellers of the plaque were probably mistaken that this came from Lehigh County. There is a 17 mile Peters' Creek in Washington and Allegheny Counties in Western PA and you may be able to request some help from them.

40.304486, -79.881550 is the lat and long where Peters' Creek vanishes under an industrial district on the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh.

If you look at the plaque it says Peters' Bridge and not Peter's Bridge.

There is even a Peters Creek Pub 2103 Rankintown Rd, Finleyville, PA (724) 348-6607

If the township can't help you, then try contacting the Peters' Creek Watershed

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peters..._(Pennsylvania)
Washington County, PA - Official Website

Contact and Information From PCWA
I beg to differ. The name "Tilghman Moyer" to me suggests that maybe it is from Lehigh County and that this person was who Tilghman Street was named after.

There is a Peters Rd in Heidelberg Township. I can't remember at the moment if there is a creek or any bridges along it. But, my guess is it is from that area, somewhere in northwestern Lehigh County. There are many bridges up here in Lynn and Heidelberg that are from the early 1900s.
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Old 12-18-2016, 01:40 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrknowitall526 View Post
I beg to differ. The name "Tilghman Moyer" to me suggests that maybe it is from Lehigh County and that this person was who Tilghman Street was named after.
You are correct. Tilghman H Moyer was Lehigh county engineer from 1914-1919 and he built a lot of bridges


Quote:
Originally Posted by mrknowitall526 View Post
There is a Peters Rd in Heidelberg Township. I can't remember at the moment if there is a creek or any bridges along it. But, my guess is it is from that area, somewhere in northwestern Lehigh County. There are many bridges up here in Lynn and Heidelberg that are from the early 1900s.
Looking at a map I don't see any bridges on that road.

I also don't see it mentioned on this website.
https://bridgehunter.com/pa/lehigh/
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Old 12-18-2016, 07:29 PM
 
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This is what I know:

The seller lives in Lehigh county and said that when they originally bought the plaque they were told by that seller that it came from Lehigh County, probably they got it at an "estate sale" or auction since on the back was a remnant of a new piece of wire that would be typically found holding a "lot number" paper tag on it, and on the front was a small square sticky spot that one would expect to find under one of those sticky "price tag" type labels that had been removed.

I googled all the names on the plaque and they all track right back to Lehigh County or nearby, even the engineer and the and the contractor "Weiler-Keck" which I learned was a combination of two family names by marriage between Mr Weiler and Sarah Keck, chances are after marriage the two families joined together in the business.

Mr Moyer had his offices at 824 Hamilton St Allentown, the building was demolished just a few years ago but still appears in Google street view.

A published notice in a professional engineer's publication in 1919 stated in part:

Allentown, Pa Engr Tilgman Moyer, 824 Hamilton St has made plans for....
...and Peters bridge over Mill Creek, to cost $50,000 for Lehigh County comrs., H.C. Weiner, clk., CourtHouse. Bids by owner abt. April 1
.

H.C Weinert, the clerk is on the plaque as "Harry C. Weinert"

Whether it's "Peters' " or "Peter's" or "Peters" on the plaque doesn't matter in a google search, it will find all variations, but even searching the bridge hunter web site for that, bridges built in 1919, bridges in that county turned up nothing, but that only means that web site is not complete by any means.

This is a major piece of solid bronze, it's over 30" wide, they would not have put this on some insignifcant nothing of a "RR trestle" foot bridge or the like, this is the type, size and material of plaque you would find on major bridges like the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC.

I believe that reference to the $50,000 cost was just for the engineering fees since Moyer was just the engineer not the contractor, or it's a poor scan/conversion and it's a typo, $50,000 in today's money is only around $600,000, you couldn't even build an plain highway overpass for that let along a whole bridge.

It is unknown WHEN the bridge was demolished, it could have been many years ago, the bridge could also have been re-named many years ago to something more generic like
"Fifth street bridge" and the original name not used for decades and so it would not easily appear in searches, the bridge was almost certainly replaced with a new one.

The key is: in 1919 Moyer was involved with building a bridge in Lehigh County for the commissioners, over Mill Creek, and it was named "Peters bridge" in 1919.

I can't imagine there's a proverbial "259" different bridges over "Mill creek" in a relatively small county like this that would make it so difficult to pinpoint.

Last edited by Sculptor; 12-18-2016 at 07:45 PM..
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Old 12-19-2016, 06:58 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sculptor View Post
...the bridge was almost certainly replaced with a new one.

The key is: in 1919 Moyer was involved with building a bridge in Lehigh County for the commissioners, over Mill Creek, and it was named "Peters bridge" in 1919.

There is a Mill Creek starts in Slatington, PA 18080 (40.703791, -75.642651) to (40.649537, -75.634448) where it dumps into Jordon Creek.

Using your assumption that it was an important bridge, the busiest Road to cross Mill Creek is PA-309 Schnecksville, PA 18078 (40.676616, -75.640150). Since PA-309 is a state road, they may have not renamed the bridge, just given it a number. The bridge is about 2.2 miles from the intersection of Rte 309 and Peters Road, so it is possible there was a large estate up there at one time named after someone named Peters.


Two other possibilities on local road are two bridges that cross MILL CREEK just to the west of Lehigh Valley Zoo
WINCHESTER ROAD: Concr. encased steel, I beams built 1941
BEAR ROAD: Steel, Other built 1960
It is possible that one of them replaced an earlier bridge built in 1919 with the 1960 bridge being more likely.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 12-19-2016 at 07:08 AM..
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Old 12-19-2016, 12:51 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PacoMartin View Post
There is a Mill Creek starts in Slatington, PA 18080 (40.703791, -75.642651) to (40.649537, -75.634448) where it dumps into Jordon Creek.

Using your assumption that it was an important bridge, the busiest Road to cross Mill Creek is PA-309 Schnecksville, PA 18078 (40.676616, -75.640150). Since PA-309 is a state road, they may have not renamed the bridge, just given it a number. The bridge is about 2.2 miles from the intersection of Rte 309 and Peters Road, so it is possible there was a large estate up there at one time named after someone named Peters.


Two other possibilities on local road are two bridges that cross MILL CREEK just to the west of Lehigh Valley Zoo
WINCHESTER ROAD: Concr. encased steel, I beams built 1941
BEAR ROAD: Steel, Other built 1960
It is possible that one of them replaced an earlier bridge built in 1919 with the 1960 bridge being more likely.
All of this is entirely likely, I have another plaque from a bridge that simply had a number, it is also possible a 1960 bridge replaced the 1919 bridge due to increased demands or a structural defect.
I saw some references to "Peter" in the geneology history of the county, a Mrs Peter Weiler is one and Weiler-Keck was the bridge contractor, and I believe the "Weiler" part on the plaque WAS one and the same "Peter Weiler" and that he married Sarah Keck:

History of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, and a Genealogical and ..., Volume 2

That doesn't mean there isn't another "Peter" the plaque refers to, but as a surname, it could be coincidence the given name of the contractor was also "Peter" but then maybe not- if the families donated the land or whatever, and got naming rights, that could also explain the large bronze plaque instead of the more usual, small cast-iron plaques.

The odd thing is, that bridge on 40.676616, -75.640150 is just a little nothing of a bridge you'd miss driving across except for the guard walls, the type of bridge a plaque like mine would have been justified being installed on would be a large suspension type bridge or similar, even fairly large RR bridges only seemed to have a small cast iron builder's plaque on them, that little bridge at 40.676616, -75.640150 might have replaced a previous bridge that was taller and more superstructure on it.

Here's an example of where one might find alarge plaque like this:

http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/habsh...s/104820pv.jpg

But it's on a bridge like THIS:

http://cdn.loc.gov/service/pnp/habsh...s/104819pv.jpg


I'll have to research your info when I get home to-night.

Last edited by Sculptor; 12-19-2016 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 12-19-2016, 02:47 PM
 
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There is a web site that should give you watershed maps
Lehigh Conservation District: Interactive Watershed Map

Unfortunately they have bad link, so when you click on Mill Creek you get the Spring Creek Watershed.

The Mill Creek watershed is not highly developed, so I can't imagine a bridge of that size today, let alone nearly a century ago.
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Old 12-19-2016, 05:56 PM
 
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Another small possibility is those commissoners back in 1919 handled more than just the one county, there's nothing I found yet that specifically stated "Lehigh" county, though the commissioners, engineer and contractor etc named on the plaque were part of that county, they could have also handled such matters for adjacent counties though that's unlikely and still, absolutely nothing for the bridge name comes up in Google for anywhere in the state, or anywhere else.

I would almost think the plaque was made but the bridge never built, but the old mortar residue on the back and the somewhat bent rods on the back that attached it to the wall were obviously used, so it was installed somewhere.

Wierd thing is, the other, small plaques I have, I easily found the origins of with a minimal search, they are both on that bridge hunter site with pictures and everything, even pictures of the plaques themselves where they were, some newspaper articles about their being replaced were also found in Google, but on this Peters' Bridge it's like it never existed!
The "creek" part of "Mill creek" pretty much sums up the type of bridges that would go over it, it's literally nothing BUT a little creek, maybe 100 years ago it was bigger but certainly not a huge RIVER.

I wound up contacting the county people just now via their web form because I'm coming up pretty empty. Were the commissioners' names not connected to Lehigh county along with the engineer and contractor I'd wonder if it even came from this state at all, unless there's another "Lehigh county" in a nearby state, but those commissioner names are all shown in multiple places with Lehigh county/Allentown PA, even a record book on the State of PA legislative people from 1916 shows their names with the county and Allentown.

Last edited by Sculptor; 12-19-2016 at 06:20 PM..
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