Special Report: The historic Sulphur Creek Bridge

Back in 1912 -- when Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were squaring off in a presidential election, and there were reports of a terrible accident in the Atlantic involving a ship called Titanic -- something happened in Live Oak County that residents wer

LIVE OAK COUNTY (KIII NEWS) - Back in 1912 -- when Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson were squaring off in a presidential election, and there were reports of a terrible accident in the Atlantic involving a ship called Titanic -- something happened in Live Oak County that residents were excited about.
 
In 1912, a new steel bridge was put in place to serve the community of Ray Point, where it's been serving for the last 105 years. Now, it's being replaced.
 
It is one of 12 structures of its kind left in Texas. It is called a Warren pony truss bridge, and sits over Sulphur Creek along Live Oak County Road 223 in the small community of Ray Point -- a place known over the years for its great barbecue and its love for the old relic.
 
"I helped my dad drive our cattle across it, take them over here to Ray Point to a dipping vat and dip them for ticks and take them home," Rancher Bill Wieding said. "We had to do that twice a year, and at that time it had a wooden floor. It didn't have these pipes on it."
 
Wieding has lived in the community his entire life, with the exception of the two years he spent in the early 1950s in Korea. He then went on to farm and ranch and was the manager of the Three Rivers Co-Op for 38 years before retiring. One of his fondest memories of living in Ray Point involves his trips across the steel antique.
 
"There was a school at Ray Point and the building is still there today. Put up in 1922. And I rode a horse to school there. Me and my sister did until the seventh grade," Wieding said.
 
Of course, that was back when the bridge had a wooden floor. Eventually that was replaced by iron pipes, which is perfect for cars but not so much for foot traffic.
 
Now the bridge is about to be a memory. Officials said it has to be replaced.
 
"I'd hate to see it just go to scrap metal, so whatever they want to do with it suits me fine," Wieding said.
 
Live Oak County Judge Jim Huff said this piece of Live Oak County history is going to be saved.
 
"It's of value to the community. There's a longstanding history of the use of this bridge from farming kids going to school riding horseback across it, so yeah, it has more than sentimental value," Huff said. "And the good thing is the people of the community have gotten together and said we want to do something to preserve the bridge."
 
The State and County have teamed up to save this bridge. There is a plan to move it to a park in Three Rivers, saving the historic bridge for many generations to come.
 
 

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