kerr's bridge


known History

Pioneering bridges were frequently named after a nearby property owner. James Kerr (first Reeve of Euphrasia Township) owned the area around this bridge from c.1851 and well into the 1900s. The original (likely log) Kerr's Bridge on 21-22 Side-road (this location) was declared unsafe in 1880 and was replaced in 1881 (judging by the amount paid) by another wooden structure. May of 1893, spring flooding washed out all bridges on the Beaver River thus requiring replacement or extensive repairs. James Kerr was again paid an amount appropriate to erect or repair a wooden bridge. Spring 1906, Kerr’s bridge was once more declared unsafe. Shortly afterwards James Kerr was paid a much larger fee to “enclose the cribs” which could well indicate creating the concrete abutments by enclosing the original stone. Additional 1906 council memos indicate James Kerr was also paid to install a metal truss, and mention made of a huge amount of cedar delivered to the site, possibly “planking” for the road bed.

It is entirely feasible that the c.1880s bridge crossing the Beaver River at 22C today, was moved from some other location (as yet unknown) to be reused 1906-7 as a replacement for the condemned wooden bridge. As unusual as this may seem, these “mechano-style” bridges were easy to relocate, so mention of that fact in records might not have seemed important. Perhaps a busy road needed a wider bridge and Hamilton Bridge facilitated re-purposing this bridge to a quieter road like 22C.

(Sources: Euphrasia History Book & newspaper accounts of Council minutes)


engineering details

The truss is completed as follows.  Top chord and end post: back to back channels with v-lacing and cover plate;  Vertical members: Back-to-back channels with v-lacing on each side; Hip Vertical: up-set style eyebars with supplementary rods added at a later date; Diagonal members: up-set style eyebars; Bottom chord: up-set style eyebars, expect for center panels which are replaced with channel; Portal bracing: Unusual pedimented design composed of paired angles connect by v-lacing and plate, and with curved knee braces composed of a single angle;  Struts: tow pairs of angles with v-lacing and knees composed of a single peice of angle;  Overhead lateral bracing: Square rod with turnbuckles;  Floor beams: replacement, composed of modern rolled Wide flange beams; Lower lateral bracing: replacement rods. 

Information used with permission of Nathan Holth - More details @ 


Pin-connected truss bridges of any kind are very rare in Ontario today, and this particular bridge is one of the finest examples of a pin-connected truss bridge in the province. This elegant bridge also appears as though it may be one of the oldest pin-connected truss bridges in Ontario having a style suggestive of an older truss that perhaps dates to early 1880s. The most visually striking feature that sets it apart from other bridges of this type is its unusual pedimented portal bracing, an ornamental design more commonly found on the older pin-connected truss bridges. Another design feature more common to older pin-connected through truss bridges is the "boxy" manner in which the top chord ends abruptly over the end post, rather than blending into the end post without a vertical face at the end. The ends of the top chord are faced with cast iron plaques crediting Hamilton Bridge Co. as the builder, but giving no date. Stylistically, the details of the bridge are consistent for a bridge built in 1880s, and the Hamilton Bridge Company was in operation during this time, with the Norwich Bridge supporting both of these statements. Concrete abutments which are not consistent with that time period logically must date from after 1905. Since dismantling and re-assembling pin truss bridges was quite simple and also a common occurrence, records support the likelihood of this particular bridge (original location unknown) being re-assembled on this site c.1906/7.


Bylaw 2016-74 Municipality of Grey Highlands protects this very rare landmark bridge which may be of national significance. For more information:


printable file

DES Kerr's Bridge 17.04.pdf DES Kerr's Bridge 17.04.pdf
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