Jul 092015

Flooding along the Osage River has made news this week. #LakeoftheOzarks filled to over capacity with flood gates roaring.

The swinging bridge in this video spans Greatglaize Creek near Brumley, in Miller County. Designed by Joe Dice in the first quarter of the 1900s, this is one of a number of ‘swingers’ the self-taught engineer built. It’s almost 100 years old and still used by local traffic (when the creek’s not high!). Driving across is a noisy and exhilarating experience as the narrow planks rattle and the bridge sways. Cars roll slowly.

Frightened cattle or overloaded trucks broke the deck of some and tornadoes wrecked others, but no Dice bridge ever structurally failed.

Damming the Osage, page 74

Read more about Dice in our book.

Thanks to Shawn Kober and his Big Planet Media for permission to post this very cool aerial footage of flooding on Greatglaize Creek, a tributary of Lake of the Ozarks.

Oct 072014

750“Swinging Bridge, Monegaw” (click to enlarge)

Incredible 6 x 8 cabinet photograph of the SUSPENSION BRIDGE AT MONEGAW SPRINGS.

Joe Dice wasn’t the only builder of suspension bridges in the Osage River valley. The plaque on this bridge reads: “19-Monegaw -13 Built by Bledsoe & Alspach”.

The wooden towers protected the connections of the suspension wires from weathering. A farmer in coveralls stands by bridge, as two guys in a horse-drawn wagon cross it. This “swinger” is numbered in the inventory of historic bridge on bridgehunter.com. In the comments you’ll find some personal recollections of the bridge. One brought up the Jesse James/Cole Younger gang. Another person remembered that his grandfather used to fish from the bridge and  “now all that is left is just the pillars of it.”

bridge1-Monegaw-LP photoThe suspension bridge at Monegaw is long gone, but the supporting  stone pilings  still stand on the banks of the Osage. … seen from Younger’s Bluff in morning light. (Leland Payton photograph – click to enlarge)


Dec 192013



Real Photo Postcard, mailed 1905

Sent by Lula G. Davis from Lincoln, Missouri to Miss Edith Belle Ordway of Haverhill, Mass., on December 6, 1905 showing “a scene in our county – at Warsaw on the Osage.” This real photo postcard shows the swinging bridge built by Joe Dice across the main Osage. After discussing her upcoming trip to New Mexico in the “Interesting West,” Miss Davis assures Miss Ordway: “. . . . I too am interested in souvenir postals. I do not think it silly to like beautiful things.”


Today the remaining Joe Dice ‘swinger’ on the main Osage, the same bridge in Miss Davis’ real photo postcard, is a pedestrian walkway at Warsaw with historic marker.

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