The Maple Street Bridge Historical

The Maple Street Bridge Historical (HM1U3C)

Location: Manistee, MI 49660 Manistee County
Country: United States of America

N 44° 14.887', W 86° 19.437'

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Inscription

Historic Manistee, The Victorian Port City

For the first 25 years after lumbermen settled in Manistee the river divided the community. People who later became prominent citizens spent their youth ferrying an occasional passenger across the river in canoes. After the Civil War, private enterprise came forth and built a toll bridge across the river on the section line which became Maple/Washington Street. This bridge was of wood and swung on a center pivot to allow schooners to pass up and down the river. Pedestrians were charged a nickel for crossing at a time when laborers earned eight cents an hour. This bridge burned in the Great Fire of October 8, 1871.
Immediately after the fire Manistee County purchased the real estate of the former bridge company. However County voters refused to finance the bridge, and the City of Manistee took over the project. In May of 1873 they ordered a swing bridge from the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio, for $18,000. The bridge was completed and in service within the year.
As amazing as it may seem to Twenty-First Century residents, the bridge was built without any safety equipment. After about a decade, a light was installed to show pedestrians if the bridge was open or closed. In the meantime, newspapers occasionally reported people and even a horse and buggy falling in the river when the bridge was open. After another
decade "newly patented" gates were installed to physically prevent people from falling in the river.
A new era was entered in 1893 when the tracks of the Manistee, Filer City, and Eastlake Electric Street Railway were installed across the bridge. After another fourteen years shipping interests and the public demanded a better bridge and a new steel bascule bridge was installed.
In this panoramic photo taken around 1890 we see the schooner CITY OF TOLEDO, the wrought iron bridge, two tugs of the Canfield Tug Line and the three story (five when viewed from the river) Engelmann Block.
For more on the history of Manistee, visit the Museum at 425 River Street.
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Details
HM NumberHM1U3C
Tags
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, September 2nd, 2016 at 5:01pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 553975 N 4899653
Decimal Degrees44.24811667, -86.32395000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 14.887', W 86° 19.437'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 14' 53.22" N, 86° 19' 26.22" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)231
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2-98 Washington St, Manistee MI 49660, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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