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Historical Sites

204 E Arch St, Portland, IN 47371
(260) 726-8464

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Webster Depot Park

255 Lincoln Ave. Dunkirk, IN

Beautiful historic park, featuring a Summer Concert series June thru mid-August.

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Civil War Grave

1127 E 200 N Portland, IN

John J Williams was born in 1843 in Jay County, Indiana, and joined the Union Army September 1863. He spent most of the war on guard and garrison duty in the Western Theatre until the Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Texas, which was the last of the Civil War. Even though the battle was his first time seeing action, Williams died on May 13, 1865, and as such, has the distinction of being the last soldier to have been killed in action during the Civil War. His body was brought back to the county and he is now buried in Jay County Infirmary Cemetery.

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Historical Museum

903 E Main St. Portland, IN
(260) 726-7168

The Jay County Historical museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the history of "The Only Jay in The USA". The 11,000 sq. foot museum holds thousands of artifacts dating back to 1838. The museum is staffed by dedicated volunteers who would be happy to share Jay County’s history with you.

Hours & Admission
The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am to 4pm. Admission is free to get into the 11,000 sq. foot museum, and the building is handicapped accessible.

Special Events
Sunday museum open houses occur frequently throughout the year. In the early fall, our Jay County Heritage Festival has history-related fun and entertainment for all ages on the grounds of the museum, and admission is free. End-of-year holiday time brings special indoor activities at the museum, as well.

Jay County Historical Society
The Jay County Historical Society is proud to display and discuss the rich history of Jay County and its communities. Whether your interest lies in genealogical research or simply in exploring the past, the historical society can offer an exciting glance back in time for visitors and residents.

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Bowstring Truss Bridge

292 S Meridian St. Portland, IN
The cement arch bridge, crossing the Salamonia River in Portland, is the only concrete bowstring truss bridge in Indiana.

Built in 1914 by the Isaac E. Smith contracting firm of Wayne County, the bridge was designed by O. O. Clayton, a Portland civil engineer. The bridge cost $10,240 at the time, and so much concrete was used that it was allowed to cure for six weeks before the bridge was opened to traffic.

The columns which passers-by might assume support the bridge’s pair of concrete archers actually work as “hangers” which allow the arch to support the bridge deck.

When the bridge was initially constructed, the first step was to build a “falsework”, a frame support system which filled the river’s channel. That timber and lumber framework provided the support so that the bridge’s deck could be poured, ten inches of concrete interlaced with steel reinforcing rods.

The steel-reinforced concrete vertical sections were then cast and when the arc of the bridge was cast it assumed the ob of supporting the bridge deck and beams. The falsework could then be cleared away.

In late 1997 a half-million dollar bridge restoration project was completed.

The bowstring truss bridge is included in the central business district listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

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