Side A: Zenas King (1818-1892) was a 19th century bridge builder whose iron bridges received wide acceptance throughout the country. He developed his tubular bowstring bridge in 1859, patented the design in 1861, renewed the patent in 1867, and founded King Iron Bridge & Manufacturing Company in 1871. Based on an arch’s inherent strength, King’s design used less raw materials than wooden bridges and the square tubes were simple to fabricate and ship for on-site assembly. His Cleveland-based company soon built so many patent bowstrings across Ohio that it set a design standard. (Continued on other side)
Side B: (Continued from other side) King’s tubular bowstring design created widespread enthusiasm for iron bridges and by 1880 his Ohio company was among the largest manufacturers of highway bridges in the nation. This bridge, built in 1879 as part of two spans crossing Loramie Creek near Fort Loramie, is one of two Zenas King bowstring bridges extant in Ohio. When the Great Flood of 1913 severely damaged the bridge’s abutments, it was sold and relocated to a privately owned farm. Donated to the City of Sidney, the bridge was restored and relocated to Tawawa Park during Sidney’s bicentennial celebration in 2020.