The story of a forgotten America.

Stouts Mill Bridge

The Stouts Mill Bridge carried County Route 40 over the Little Kanawha River in Gilmer County, West Virginia.

Stouts Mills is a small river community located in Gilmer County that lies adjacent to the Little Kanawha River. The community derived its name from Daniel Stout, who arrived in the area in 1807 with his wife and acquired 103 acres along the Little Kanawha. 1 William Howell established the first grist mill in 1812, followed shortly by Stout who founded the second grist mill. By 1882, Stouts Mills had grown considerably, with a population of 50 residents, three general stores, a flour and saw mill, and a hotel. The majority of businesses were located on the south side of the river, while the residents inhabited the north side. In 1897, L. D. Taylor, a community member, submitted a petition to the county requesting the construction of a bridge.

In response to the petition, the county appointed R. L. Ruddell and M. H. Stump to evaluate potential sites and alternatives for a bridge in the community. 1 The site evaluators recommended on April 23 that a bridge be constructed at Stouts Mills. The Gilmer County Commission then entered into a contract with the Canton Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, and their agent, H. E. Merydiect, on June 11 to construct a steel bridge across the Little Kanawha River at the cost of $4,250. The Stouts Mill Bridge, which was a Baltimore camelback through truss, was completed within a year.

Subsequently, in 1997, construction of a new girder bridge upstream of the Stouts Mill Bridge began, and the circa 1897 crossing was closed to traffic in January 1998. 1



  1. Valente, Kim A. “Stouts Mill Bridge.” National Register of Historic Places, 1 Jun. 1998.

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