Riverside Bridge, Christian County, Missouri

by Joshua Heston

A two-span truss bridge crossing the Finley River. That’s all the old Riverside Bridge really is.

Built — like many of the bridges in Christian County — by the Canton, Ohio-based Canton Bridge Company back in 1909, the Riverside Bridge is an essential piece of the landscape just north of the city of Ozark for longer than anyone can now remember.

Around a wooded bend — and next to the rambling Riverside Inn, Riverside Bridge saw daily traffic for 101 years.

Eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, Riverside Bridge was rated as structurally deficient and slated for destruction in 2010. It has been closed to traffic since.

The safety of travelers crossing the Finley is of top priority. However, it is sad to see this landmark closed, unkept, scheduled to be torn down.

Today, it’s all that remains of a once-thriving corner of the Ozarks, a crossing where for generation after generation, folks met for the fried chicken, the neighborhood news — and, during Prohibition — an illegal drink at the Riverside Inn.

A crossroads of history here in the hills and valleys of the Ozarks — too soon gone.

January 21, 2012

Editor’s Note:

At the time of this writing, the Riverside Bridge has been repaired and re-opened to traffic.

January 31, 2014

Riverside Bridge

Plate 1.

Riverside Bridge

Plate 2.

Riverside Bridge

Plate 3.

All photo credits: J. Heston. All Plates, Riverside Bridge, Christian County, Missouri (5/5/10), (7/08.09). State of the Ozarks © Archive. July 8, 2009 & May 5, 2010.

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