The Original Voges Bridge


Big Timber 59011,Livingston Area,Sweet Grass County

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Location: Milepost 362, I-90

In late 1913, Sweet Grass County residents petitioned the County Commissioners to build a bridge across the Yellowstone River west of Big Timber. The petition was submitted to the commissioners by New York millionaire oilman and part-time Montana rancher, W. Dixon Ellis of the Briggs-Ellis Cattle Company. Dixon offered to donate $5,000 toward the construction of the bridge if the commissioners agreed to build it the following year. In April 1914, the county contracted with the Security Bridge Company to construct a 2-span pin-connected Pratt through truss bridge at this site for $14,995. Designed by Sweet Grass County Surveyor J. B. Kleinhesselink and County Assessor D. J. Walvoord, the 378-foot long bridge included an experimental floor system that allowed the use of the bridge by the new 20-ton tractors of the time. The Security Bridge Company completed the structure in June 1914 and it eventually became known as the Voges Bridge by area residents. Charles Voges owned a nearby sheep ranch and donated the land for the existing one-room school on the north bank of the river in 1920. When completed, the Voges Bridge provided access to the

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