Save the Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge


Welcome to Save the Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge
also known as the Grand Auglaize Bridge 

We are a group of volunteers dedicated to preserving this 90-year-old Brumley Cable Suspension Bridge before it’s lost forever.  It’s only one of three of its kind in the US and a symbol of our National heritage. 

          In August of 2018, it was brought to the attention of the local residents that the Grand Auglaize Bridge historic swinging bridge located in Brumley Missouri was in danger of closing down due to an Engineering inspection. According to this inspection, the historic bridge was considered to be in “Poor Condition”.  As a result, the weight limit was reduced to 3-tons

​    Soon, a grassroots campaign got underway to “Save The Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge” by the local residents in the area. First on the agenda was to get this bridge listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, which was successfully accomplished on October 8, 2020.

​  In January of 2021, a new inspection was conducted by MODOT, which resulted in the permanent closure of this historic bridge, which spans the Grand Auglaize Creek, a tributary of Lake of the Ozarks. The Grand Auglaize Bridge was the last original swinging bridge in Missouri to carry vehicular traffic.

In February of 2021, the grassroots campaign officially became a grassroots organization. “Save The Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge” will continue to strive forward on our mission to restore and repair the historic bridge through grants and donations.

A   campaign has been set up to raise funds to save our historical Bridge.


       ​The Grand Auglaize Bridge is rurally located in Miller County, Missouri near the town of Brumley on State Highway 42, 2.8 miles southwest. The bridge, which is accessible via Swinging Bridges Road (Co. Rd. 42-18), spans the Grand Auglaize Creek, a tributary of Lake of the Ozarks.
 ​      The Grand Auglaize Bridge is a historic cable-suspension bridge and a fine example of a vernacular bridge of the early 1900s. It was built under the supervision of Joseph A. Dice, a self-taught engineer, who was reputed to have constructed approximately 40 bridges during a significant period of 1895-1940 in the central Missouri region. Counties that housed the Dice bridges included: Benton, Cooper, Henry, Miller, Maries and St. Clair.
      Mr. Dice designed bridges to span substantial streams, creeks, and rivers, as well as produced small bridges for farmers on private property.  His suspension bridges in central Missouri were built from experience for the needs of local people.  It is reported that he lacked technical sophistication and built from first-hand knowledge of bridge construction.
      The common consensus of the local inhabitants regarding the Grand Auglaize Bridge’s construction date is ca. 1930-1931. According to the locals, when Bagnell Dam was built it impounded the Osage River, which in turn also confined the Grand Auglaize Creek which flowed into the river, causing the waterway to backup and flood the vicinity.  The need for a bridge became a priority when the residents were no longer able to safely cross the creek by automobile, on what was once the old Linn Creek-Brumley Road. 
     Joseph Dice was contracted by Union Electric Light & Power (St. Louis, Missouri) under the authority of Louis H. Egan, president of the utility company, to erect a bridge over the Grand Auglaize waterway.   According to H. Dwight Weaver, the bridge was budgeted for $17,200 however Mr. Dice was able to construct the Grand Auglaize Bridge for $11,500.
    He was a skillfully pragmatic man with a mathematical eye and a calculating brain. His method of calculating a bridge’s dimensions was noticeably different from other builders of his day and consisted of using a ball of twine to get his mathematical equations precise. As Peggy Smith Hake noted, “We are told Mr. Dice could tell by the ‘feel’ of the wire if the tension was right.”  He built a regional reputation as a builder of suspension bridges, as Robert Hayden acclaimed, an “almost legendary reputation”.
    According to the website based on the book by Leland and Crystal Payton, Damming the Osage, an article was published entitled, “Flooding on the Osage, July 2015”, which stated,  “Frightened cattle or overloaded trucks broke the deck of some and tornadoes wrecked others, but no Dice bridge ever structurally failed.” 
      With the Grand Auglaize Bridge being a tourist attraction for Lake of the Ozarks, the “Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge” has aesthetic and nostalgic value as well. Many visitors go out of their way to see this unusual historic bridge situated near a primitive campground located in the eastern portion of Lake of the Ozarks State Park.      The Grand Auglaize Bridge is a wonderful testament to a historic swinging bridge that retains its vernacular character, the charm of its original construction, and a true manifestation of the engineering skills of Joseph A. Dice.
Written by Kelly Warman-Stallings
Save the Historical Brumley Swinging Bridge is a non-profit 501(c)(3) that depends on contributions from individuals, groups, corporations and grants from charitable foundations. Only because of the generous support of donors can we accomplish our mission to preserve the Historical Brumley Bridge as a monument to man’s accomplishment and inspire this and future generations to appreciate their community’s heritage.