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UER Forum > Archived US: South > Sorghum Fjord (Viewed 295 times)
dwtaylor999 


Location: Unassigned Lands, Oklahoma
Gender: Male




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Sorghum Fjord
< on 9/19/2011 11:34 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
I've post some of this before as part of another post, but thought I'd expand it a bit. A couple of years ago the old bridge on state highway 18
crossing the Arkansas river at Ralston, OK was closed for a couple of weeks for repairs. You quickly realize how much you take something for
granted once it's gone. My 5 minute drive now took 30 minutes, an hour round trip. I suddenly developed a serious appreciation for road and
bridge infrastructure, and it set me to thinking of what it must have been like in the not so distant past.





The local community has a love/hate relationship with the bridge. Originally slated for replacement this year, that has been pushed out at least
a couple of years due to budget cuts. The old streel truss bridge was built in 1935 during the height of the Great Depression, and is showing her age.
More "patch" than road, work crews are a common site on the bridge, struggling to fill spots in the crumbling concrete. This has resulted in the
bridge being somewhat rough, with a bouncing rhythm that small children enjoy and people prone to car sickness don't.






I've had many people comment "what a nice old bridge!" moments before sodas, coffee, dash debris, sunglasses, etc, begin to fly about, while the driver
struggles to keep the vehicle from careening off the steel girders. The 35 mph speed limit isn't really a suggestion. That's the "hate" part.
However, take it away, even for a short while, and you have everyone's attention.





The existing bridge was far from the first. Before the dams at Kaw and Keystone lakes were built, the Arkansas was a much wilder river. The towns
location was chosen for two primary reasons. Proximity to the Osage Indian Reservation, just across the river, and Sorghum Fjord, a low water
crossing point. Alcohol was forbidden on the reservation, so trade just across the river was brisk. Prohibition just meant you bought your booze in
rear instead of openly from the front.





The fjord was only useful when the river was low, with Ferry's plying their trade when the river level was high.








The first bridges were simple wooden structures, built on piles. They performed well, at least until the river reached flood stage. They soon succumbed to damage or destruction by a combination of water and debris. These early bridges were popular fishing places when the sand bass were running and would be crowded to the point of collapse.













The bridges continued to improve with new building techniques. Wooden piles were replaced with concrete piers, steel reinforcement was added, and taller heights to stay above high water were all incorporated.









The original ferry and bridge location were abandoned with the current bridge in 1935. Where one end of the bridge once sat is now a sand/concrete plant. The native rock that made Sorghum fjord possible line the banks and have been a popular fishing and noodling location for a hundred years or so. While walking the river bank, I noticed that people had been carving their names and initials into the rock for most of that time. I've attached a small sample as they were all over the rocks, many faded with time.

























This is the remnants of the "old" bridge, abandoned when the "new" one was built in 1935. I can remember some of the concrete piers still standing in
river years ago before finally being claimed by the river. The anchor piers and remnants of the old raised road bed still exist on the rivers far side, forgotten by the current generations.












Where this old road intersected the original highway 20, there once stood a one room school house, appropriately called Sorghum Ford. Nothing remains of the school except photographs, much like the bridge and river crossing that were it's namesake.



Ruins, the fate of all cities.
Delta Fire 


Location: Manteca, Ca
Gender: Male




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Re: Sorghum Fjord
<Reply # 1 on 9/22/2011 6:55 AM >
Posted on Forum: Infiltration Forums
 
Once again, amazing post. Your pictures and history are amazingly well put together. Thank you.

The probability of someone watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your actions.
wings2fly 


Location: anywhere I wanna be
Gender: Female


we're all a little loony

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Re: Sorghum Fjord
<Reply # 2 on 9/22/2011 1:46 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Your posts are always so wonderful, simply love every one you create!
Thanks for sharing!

...whither shall I wander, upstairs or downstairs or in my lady's chambers...
wings2fly 


Location: anywhere I wanna be
Gender: Female


we're all a little loony

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Re: Sorghum Fjord
<Reply # 3 on 9/22/2011 1:51 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Had to look again! They kept guinea pigs in school as pets even back then! That is so great! I worked at the feed store for years, and, of course we sold them; I just loved these little creatures.

...whither shall I wander, upstairs or downstairs or in my lady's chambers...
Navi23 


Location: The Calculus Rock
Gender: Male




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Re: Sorghum Fjord
<Reply # 4 on 9/22/2011 2:38 PM >
Posted on Forum: UER Forum
 
Fantastic stuff.

UER Forum > Archived US: South > Sorghum Fjord (Viewed 295 times)



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