|A Visit to Aurora and Lawrenceburg, Indiana|
Near Aurora in Ohio County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Historic Road Less Traveled
By Duane Hall, May 21, 2013
Who would think that a country road would hold so much history? Old State Highway 56 takes you past the historic Speakman-Tallentire house and to a famous bridge.
Elderly Stephen S. Speakman was in love with a young Kentucky belle who agreed to marry him if he built her a magnificent house. With the help of slave labor borrowed from his bride's Kentucky home, the elegant Greek Revival-style Speakman-Tallentire house was completed in 1845. It sits on a rise near the Laughery Creek. Although now overgrown, it once had a view of the Creek, and across the Ohio River to Kentucky. Bricks used to build it were made right on the premises. The home is now a private residence, not open to the public, and should be viewed from the roadside.
Travel past the Speakman-Tallentire House and see the three-span, 302 foot "Triple Whipple Bridge," built in 1878 that joins Ohio and Dearborn Counties. It is the only remaining bridge of its type in the country, and is named for the nineteenth century bridge designer Squire Whipple, who designed a special system of supports. The bridge's historic significance earned it a place in the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is presently closed to vehicular traffic but has been rehabilitated for pedestrian use.
Visitors are encouraged to visit a neighboring Ohio River
Old State Road 56 is behind the marker
Scenic site just to the north of here at Riverview Cemetery.
By the Way: Indiana has more than 6,000 bridges, many of them considered historic treasures.
Location. 39° 1.267' N, 84° 53.02' W.
Marker is near Aurora, Indiana, in Ohio County.
Marker is at the intersection of Hartford Pike and Old State Road 56, on the right when traveling north on Hartford Pike. Click for map.
Marker is in this post office area: Aurora IN 47001, United States of America.
Brief History by the Author
Stephen S. Speakman (October 28, 1804 - October 18, 1848)
The son of Micajah Speakman Jr. and Phebe Speakman, Stephen is a native of Concord, Pennsylvania. He married Mary Speakman, with whom he had four children. Mary passed away and he married Sarah Bush on December 14, 1843. Speakman is buried in Riverview Cemetery.
Triple Whipple Bridge
Built by the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio in 1878, the bridge is the last of its kind remaining in the United States. The 297 foot long, bridge spans Laughery Creek. The bridge is closed to traffic, but after 2008 rehabilitation, the bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic. The National Register of Historic Places listed it on September 29, 1976.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+39.02461, -84.88586 (decimal degrees)
39°01'29" N, 84°53'09" W (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
Bridgehunter.com ID BH 16011