Construction of the suspension bridge on this site began in the early summer of 1871 and the bridge opened for use in November that year. The total cost for the structure was nearly $45,000 and tolls were collected for about 25 years. Workmen are shown here building the north abutment against a background of lumber rafts which were stranded in the eddy owing to a very low stage of water in the spring. Across the Allegheny River is Warren's south side, then undeveloped except for Oakland Cemetery and scattered farms. Built by Elmira, New York, contractor George W. Fishler, the new bridge was to change all that, for it made possible rapid settlement of land formerly accessible only by ferry or by crossing the ice in winter. Until 1900, when the Warren Emergency Hospital was built there, a portion of the south side west of the bridge was occupied by the Warren County fair grounds. In the middle of the river, beyond the rafts, are the remains of the covered bridge at Hazel Street, which stood only from 1839 to 1855. In the far distance, on the north bank, is the Revere House, an early railroad hotel next to the tracks and passenger station of the Philadelphia and Erie Railroad. Just to the left of this scene, on the foot of the island (Warren's first manufacturing district) was Rathbun's wharf, the town landing throughout much of the nineteenth century for keelboats, flatboats and steamboats plying the Allegheny on high water during the late winter and spring navigation season.