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Turning Back the Pages

Among those who narrowly escaped a watery grave were Mrs. Jane Welcome of Glens Falls and Mrs. James Davidson of Warrensburgh, both of whom had gone to the river to view the high water. It had been their intention to cross over to South Glens Falls but within about 15 feet of the bridge the structure gave way. Almost overcome with fright the two women beat a hurried retreat and have yet to recover from the excitement.

Structure’s remains located

The big steel bridge, completed in March, 1890 by the Berlin Iron Bridge Co. of Connecticut at a cost of $9,000, had spanned the Hudson for 23 years, but it could no longer stand the pressure of the high water and rushing logs although iron trusses were added some years ago extending nearly to the rocks below. It had replaced the old lattice covered bridge which had been an eyesore to the traveling public for many years. That bridge had sagged and swayed when people and cars crossed it at the same time.

A few minutes after the bridge collapsed, a searchlight was employed in an effort to locate the fallen structure but it was not until the next morning that sections of the steel work were located around the bend, 150 yards down the river. Since early that morning, thousands of sightseers gathered to view the catastrophe.

(Note: In 1804 a toll bridge was built there by Warren Ferriss which lasted until 1833 when a new bridge was built for use by the general public. That bridge was later replaced by the “old lattice covered bridge” eyesore which was replaced in 1890 by the “modern” steel bridge that in 1913 went down the river as described here. I find no mention of how the area of famous Cooper’s Cave, located under the bridge, fared during this turmoil.)

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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