The Curran Suspension Bridge

The Curran Suspension Bridge (HM26SO)

Location: Littleton, NH 03561 Grafton County
Buy New Hampshire State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 44° 18.332', W 71° 46.674'

  • 0 likes
  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
  • 95 views
Inscription
The Curran Suspension Bridge, and its engineer, Kenneth Curran, enjoy a long and rich history in the Town of Littleton, a history that reflects the industrious, self-reliant nature of both town and benefactor.

The Curran Bridge is the third such bridge in this spot, an essential link between the industrial section of town on the north side of the Ammonoosuc and the residential section of the town on the south side.
Prior to the first bridge being erected in the late 1800's, workers used a rope drawn skiff to cross the Ammonoossuc to get to the Saranac Glove Factory, which was founded in 1866. With the advent of the factory's switch to steam power in the late 1800's, the river breached the dam and its dam power, making the passage by skiff impractical, and the first wooden structure was built.

A suspension bridge was originally built on this site in 1902. Suspension bridge technology enabled a much longer main span than with other types of bridge construction. With a span across the Ammonoosuc of 244 feet, such a long main span was very important. The original suspension bridge was lost in the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, which caused considerable damage across the State of New Hampshire and brought 163 mph winds to nearby Mt. Washington. Faced with a dilemma to preserve or replace the bridge,



the Town turned to a Littleton native, recently returning home after receiving an Engineering degree from Northwestern University. Frugal and disciplined by nature, Kenneth Elwin Curran (1912-2003) returned to his hometown determined to make an impact, and this began with his work on replacing the lost suspension bridge. The town voted to award Curran the contract at a cost of $3,250. While Curran replaced the wooden towers with steel, he examined the underground anchors to the steel cables and found them wrapped in lanolin rich deer hides which preserved/the cables. He left them alone. This diligence allowed Curran to complete the construction of this bridge for $3,049, and he refused to bill the Town for the balance.
This balance of personal business interest with respect and fairness became a hallmark of Curran's career, regarding every job as a promise to the taxpayer. His firm grew to be a major employer in the region, employing hundreds and constructing airfields, dams, utilities, schools, and notably, bridges across New England. Fiscally prudent and politically vocal, Curran was valued by the government agencies who funded many of his construction jobs, who respected his commitment to bring his projects in under budget.
Curran was a disciplined man who loved his hometown of Littleton and its surrounding wildlife. He planned an endowment to the Town after his death which



ensured his-first public works contract, this bridge, would stand in perpetuity, and the Town of Littleton in turn named this bridge the Curran Suspension Bridge.
Details
HM NumberHM26SO
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, April 13th, 2018 at 7:01am PDT -07:00
Pictures
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)19T E 278428 N 4909561
Decimal Degrees44.30553333, -71.77790000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 18.332', W 71° 46.674'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 18' 19.92" N, 71° 46' 40.44" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)603
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 42 Riverside Dr, Littleton NH 03561, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. Who or what organization placed the marker?
  10. This marker needs at least one picture.
  11. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  12. Is the marker in the median?