“Bridges are a monument to progress.” -Joseph Straus

Old Appleton Bridge is a historic Pratt Truss Iron Bridge located at Old Appleton, Cape Girardeau County and Perry County, Missouri. It was built in 1879, and consists of a wrought iron, pin-connected, Pratt through truss main span. It rests on limestone block masonry piers. The total length of the bridge is 161 feet. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2009.

Efforts to get this piece of history added to the National Register of Historic Places was many years in the making. Nominations for the bridges date all the way back to 1982 but the original nomination was not submitted.

In December of 1982, heavy rains sent a flash flood down Apple Creek, pushing the bridge into the water. It would take several years to finally restore the bridge. Another flash flood in 1986 wiped out the McClain Mill which once stood next to the bridge. Although the missing mill, left a huge void, the old Appleton community continued with the bridge restoration. Restorations did not start until 2005.

Old Appleton still has a few old historic buildings left, along with a few homes. This small community has turned this area near the bridge into a beautiful area for visitors. As you walk across the bridge the fall sound of water is tranquil. It’s easy to imagine what this small town once looked like. You can see evidence of where the mill was located along with a few pieces of metal gears that were used to grind with.

If you’re feeling adventurous, walk to the old mill area. Follow the limestone low wall. You will see a path that goes down the hill. Follow the path through the sandy soil to get a better view of the waterfall. The dam with bridge behind is a beautiful sight. In the summer, you can sometimes find swimmers enjoying the cool water of Apple Creek.

Old Appleton is a beautiful town to make a stop in to visit this piece of history. So follow the winding and twisting Highway 61 and go discover those #mobackroadadventures.

Meet our Guest Blogger, Amber Odom:
Hey everyone!  I am an elementary teacher by day and a nature lover at heart. I love exploring new places in southeast Missouri, meeting new people, and being in the great outdoors! Come along with me as I explore those MO backroads adventures!

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Instagram Page: @mobackroadadventures
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Check back for more from Amber and her family’s Missouri (Perry County) Back Road Adventures.