The Black Vermillion River, a stream of northeastern Kansas, was in the past, also simply called the Black River, flows through the counties of Marshall, Nemaha, and Pottawatomie. Consisting of two forks, the north fork rises in northeast Marshall County and flows south; the south fork rises in the southern part of Nemaha County and flows northwest, with the two forming a junction near the little village of Vliets. From this point, the main stream follows a southwesterly course until it empties into the Big Blue River near the southern boundary of Marshall County.
Several historic bridges can still be seen crossing the river.
A historic truss bridge can still be seen 1.5 miles east of Frankfort. Built in 1908, its length is 191.9 feet. A pony truss bridge is located 1.5 mile south and 1.5 mi. west of Frankfort. Built in 1930 it is 89.9 feet long. Another pony truss bridge, built in 1910, is located 0.5 mi. north and 1.5 mi. east of Vliets built. It is 77.1 feet long. Another truss bridge can be found on Tumbleweed Road, 1.5 mi. west of Vliets. It was built in about 1910 and is 109.9 feet long. Another pony truss bridge over the river is located 8.0 miles south and 5.5 miles west of Frankfort. Built in 1910, it is 26.9 feet long. Yet another pony truss bridge is located 1.5 miles south and 0.5 miles east of Vermillion. It was built in 1910 it is 47.9 feet long. Though in various conditions, all of these bridges are still open to traffic.
Compiled by Kathy Weiser-Alexander, updated July 2020.