Preservation Merit Award to David Tschantz and the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation
for preserving and restoring the 1869 Zoarville Station Bridge, the last remaining Fink
Truss Bridge in the United States.
Camp Tuscazoar Foundation owns and maintains a property that was a Boy Scout camp from
1920 to the mid-1980s. The camp is adjacent to the Zoarville Station Bridge, the last remaining
Fink Truss bridge in the United States. The bridge, which was pictured on the cover of
the Ohio Historical Society’s Timeline magazine in 1985, had been bypassed by a new road and,
through neglect, had fallen into serious disrepair. In 1997 the bridge was listed on the
National Register of Historic Places and donated to the Camp Tuscazoar Foundation. The
foundation began working to raise money to restore the bridge. David Tschantz, an
attorney with Wayne Mutual Insurance Company in Wooster, volunteered to coordinate the
project. He spent the next 11 years generating interest, seeking funding, and coordinating the
enormous number of tasks for getting the bridge restored. Many individuals, organizations,
businesses, state agencies, and politicians worked to make the restoration a reality. Leading the
effort was David Tschantz, who is not a preservationist by profession or avocation, but who saw a
worthy community project and accepted the leadership role. The project he led to a miraculous
conclusion was the restoration of an extremely rare piece of American engineering and
transportation history. The iron bridge from 1869 is back where it has been since 1905, and
has a new life as the nexus of four recreational trails.
to return to the list of 2008 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.
for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.