Jacobs Creek (1801) – First Modern Suspension Bridge

Flickr photographer Suspensionstayed wrote to me about America’s very first modern suspension bridge, which “was built in 1801 across Jacobs Creek on the road from Connellsville to Mt. Pleasant in an area now known as Iron Bridge, just east of Scottdale.”  Many of the pioneering families of this corner of Western Pennsylvania might have used this bridge, including the Overholt families, since West Overton is less than a mile away.  Designer and builder James Finley obtained a patent in 1808, “due to the many unique innovative features of this bridge.”

This historic bridge no longer exists, but there is a historical marker at the Uniontown Library.  You may be interested to read an article online, “Finley’s Wonder on Jacob’s Creek,” posted in the Fall of 2010.  Suspensionstayed mentioned it has “a few errors,” noting that the bridge was completed in 1801, but the patent on the design was obtained in 1808.  To get a very nice jpg of the signature design, click on the small picture drawn by William Strickland.


About Karen

Karen researches the history and genealogy of the Overholt Family of West Overton, PA, publishing her work online at The Overholt Family Tree ~~ Karen's Branches.
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