Gateway to the Big South Fork

Historic designation sought for O&W Bridge

July 19, 2023

HUNTSVILLE — Scott County is seeking to have the historic Oneida & Western Railroad Bridge over the Big South Fork River placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The application for the historic designation was approved by a 13-0 vote of Scott County Commission on Monday, July 17, following a recommendation by the O&W Bridge Committee, which was appointed in March 2023 to explore ways to preserve the bridge.

O&W Bridge was built in 1915 as the Oneida & Western Railroad was being built westward from Oneida. Once completed in 1921, the railroad linked Oneida to Jamestown in Fentress County. The bridge, a steel Whipple through-truss design, was originally constructed in the late 1800s, and was disassembled and moved to the Big South Fork in 1915.

David Jeffers, who represents the 1st District on County Commission and chairs the O&W Bridge Committee, clarified that having the bridge classified as an Historic Place would not change its ownership or usage.

“If anything changes about the historic nature of the bridge it will automatically be taken off (the national register),” Jeffers said. “It’s not something that’s there for life. This body can do what it wishes with the bridge.”

There are currently five structures in Scott County listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include:

1.) First National Bank – Huntsville
2.) Scott County Jail – Huntsville
3.) Louis E. Bryant House – Oneida
4.) Barton Chapel – Robbins
5.) Black Creek Fire Lookout Tower – Robbins

Last modified: July 19, 2023

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