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Third Street Bridge - 1890 Newspaper Accounts
  • Contributed by Alan Flood (April 2003)
  • Up until 1864, the only means to traverse the Saginaw river between West Bay City and Bay City was by boat or ferry. The Third Street Bridge crossing played an important role in the growth of these communities which merged as one Bay City in 1905. In 1976, the old reliable swingspan bridge mysteriously collasped one evening after opening to allow the passing of a lake freighter. A great debate followed about the location of its replacement, the Vermont - Woodside connection just north of it won out and the Liberty Bridge was built, a four lane draw bridge.

    • {1997 Aerial View} - Photo shows the current west bank area where the Third Street Bridge once connected with Midland Street (bet. Liberty Harbor and Pier 7) and to the top-right, the Liberty Bridge.

    Menu: Bay City Daily Tribune articles:
  • Jan. 10, 1890 - Story of A Bridge.
  • Jan. 11, 1890 - Meet Upon The Bridge.
  • Jan. 24, 1890 - We Can Cross To-day.
  • Jan. 25, 1890 - Is Open At Last.
  • Feb. 08, 1890 - Inspecting The Bride.
  • Mar.29, 1890 - May Close The Road.
  • Apr. 4, 1890 - Rid Of The Approach.
  • May 30, 1890 - Ran Into The Bridge.
  • Jun. 29, 1890 - The Bridge Approaches.
  • January 10, 1890 - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE - Friday, Jan. 10, 1890.

    STORY OF A BRIDGE.
    -------
    Well Known Authority Furnishes The Tribune
    With a Most Interesting History.
    -------
    Story of the Long Controversy Which Ended
    in the Splendid Structure Just Built.
    -------

    The new Third street bridge is now open for foot passengers, and will be open for general travel with teams in about a week, an event over which all will rejoice. The route of travel across the bridge has been closed for over a year, greatly to the damage of the adjacent property owners, and to the serious inconvenience of the people of Bay county and vicinity. The new bridge is erected on the site of the bridge of the old Bay City Bridge company. This old bridge was constructed by a corporation known as the Bay City Bridge company in 1864. The principal stockholders of the company who constructed the first bridge were William F. Glasby and Uri Gilbert of East Saginaw and W.H. Gilbert of Bay City. Dr. Charles A. Bogart was the first secretary of the corporation. The capital stock of the company first organized was nominally $25,000, but the actual cost of the bridge was about $18,000. The bridge was opened for travel in May 1865. Gradually the original owners of the stock sold out their various interests to other persons until the bridge was owned by the First National bank of this city. When that bank failed the stock was turned over to the depositors, and passed under the supervision of the late Capt. J.P. Phillips. At this time Honorable S.M. Green was secretary of the company. During this time and about the spring of 1869 the water in the river was very high, and a jam of ice, logs, lumber, timber, and rubbish formed just above the bridge until the river was filled to the bottom. The jam extended the whole width of the river as far as Sixth street in this city. By this accumulation the water was raised and the tremendous pressure above gave great force to the current below, and the bottom of the river was washed out and lowered until all the earth in which the piles for the foundation for three piers west of the draw were driven out and washed away and the piers stood on nothing. The bridge was wrecked, but Capt. Phillips was equal to the emergency. He went to the woods and cut long white oak piles fifty or sixty feet long, drove them firmly into the river bottom, made new piers, jacked up the bridge and made it passable at very little expense. About 1872 or 1873 the majority of the stock of the old bridge company passed into the hands of Messrs. Isaac H. Hill and Charles E. Jennison, who soon reconstructed the old superstructure with iron. While these things were going on the capital stock of the bridge company was doubled from $25,000 to $50,000, and on this new capital paid large dividends. The stock was a fancy article; some years it paid as high as 20 or 30 per cent and, as it was steadily getting better and more valuable, the stockholders did not like to part with it. Tolls were collected for crossing the bridge; two cents for foot passengers, twelve cents for a single horse, and 25 cents for a double team. It must be acknowledged that the bridge was well cared for in all those years and the service to the public was generally good. But the people did not like to pay the toll. That was the rub. Many people, on both sides of the river, after they had paid their two cents at the toll gate and passed the bridge used to stop and swear awhile at the situation.

    In 1879 E.S. Van Liew, then on the board of supervisors, from West Bay City presented a petition to the taxpayers asking the board of supervisors of Bay county to buy the bridge and make it free, or construct a new free bridge. The board was loth to act in the matter; Mr. Maxwell, Mr. Nathan Knight and other leading and conservative members of the board opposed it. They said that it was impossible for the county to own and manage the bridge properly without daily violating the law, that the board could only legally expend one thousand dollars per year, without a vote of the people annually, and the expense for turning the swing, for light, and repairs would amount to more than $3,000 per year for each year. Besides this they said, the county agencies were not adapted to handling the property. If a vessel should run into it, or if it should break down, the board of supervisors could not be called together in less than ten days, and then they could not lawfully expend but $1,000 for repairs, and if the breakdown was serious and cost more than that sum to repair it an election must be held to vote the money, of which thirty days notice must be given. And they insisted that the cities and not the county should buy the bridge or build a new one. But the cities did nothing. It has been observed by many that the common council of Bay City has long been eminent for its incapacity to deal with matters of large importance. But in the meantime, the public demanded a free bridge. The pressure became overwhelming and finally the board of supervisors submitted a proposition to the electors of the county which was voted upon on the 3rd day of April 1882, to raise the money to buy the bridge and the proposition was carried. The sum voted was $25,000, payable in cash to be raised by direct taxation that year. A committee was appointed by the board of supervisors to buy the bridge, or to enter upon the construction of a new one, composed of A.G. Maxwell, Ira E. Swart, William Gaffney, and Morris Westover, with power either to buy the bridge or construct a new one. Negotiations were reopened at once, but the owners of the bridge would not sell it for the money voted. The committee went right ahead and secured a landing place on Welch's dock on the West Bay City side at the foot of Scott street, and commenced to prepare for the construction of a new bridge from Second street in Bay City to Scott street in West Bay City. Option contracts were obtained for the land, for spiles, and for the iron work, and proceedings for the construction of a new bridge were vigorously pushed forward. But as it was evident that a free bridge one block from the foot of Third street would destroy the value of the company's bridge at that point, the owners Messrs. Hill and Jennison concluded to sell, and accepted the sum of $22,000 for the same. The property was paid for in cash and turned over to the county on the 3rd of January, 1883.

    Having purchased the bridge and paid for it, the board of supervisors offered it to the cities as a free gift, but they would not accept it, and it remained to be managed by the committee of the board until the bridge commission hereafter mentioned was created.

    The old bridge was too light and too narrow for the growing traffic that passed over it, and became unsafe after a time. The swing pier was built by driving a solid circle of piles in the river bottom about forty feet in diameter; these piles were drawn together with chains and an immense iron band was shrunk on around it while hot to draw the piles together closely. When these piles were driven, the bark was on and the foundation of the swing pier was as solid as a rock. But by the lapse of time and the action of the water, the bark on the piles in the pier fell off and dropped down in the water. The effect of that was to leave spaces between all the piles and afterwards the whole pier would swing from side to side, and the swing would act like an immense "teter board." With the least touch of a vessel, the action would be so violent as almost to throw the swing into the river. With a heavy wind, the swing could not be closed. Various experiments were tried to remedy the evil. Wedges were driven in between the piles and an immense king bolt was put in, but it was impossible to make the swing stay in its position. There was danger of great loss both of life and of property every moment. The county had been sued for injuries on the bridge, and a jury had awarded the claimant $10,000. The board of supervisors hastened along. They had submitted a proposition to the people to bond the county for $75,000; $15,000 for a swing for the Twenty third street bridge, and $60,000 for a new bridge at Third street. The proposition had been approved by the people at an election. The $15,000 had been used in the Twenty third street bridge. Competition had been invited for the building of the new Third street bridge; it was very sharp, twenty bridge companies were represented, and the contract was awarded to the Milwaukee Bridge company, the lowest bidder to construct the new bridge. The work of taking down the old bridge was begun. Large contracts and purchases were made by the Milwaukee Bridge company towards the progress of their work of construction, when the circuit judge granted an injunction restraining the tearing down of the old bridge and the negotiation of the $60,000 of bonds. This order placed the county in an embarrassing position. They had entered into a contract with the bridge company, which the United States courts would enforce and on which it was liable for large damages. It had, by agreement, sold the bonds to a Toledo bank; $20,000 had been paid on them, and it was liable for damages on that contract. The order was soon modified so as to permit the completion of the sale of the bonds. The board of supervisors, fearing that the county would be mulcted in further damages, closed the bridge. Travel was wholly suspended, and the old bridge, so far as public use was concerned, was a thing of the past. The results of the injunction were disasterous. The bridge company cancelled its orders for iron work. The contractors for removing the old bridge ceased work, and there was a pause in the proceedings for two or three months. Finally, Mr. Maxwell suggested the idea of a bridge commission. He and the Honorable H.H. Hatch drafted the bill for its creation and secured its immediate passage by the legislature. The commission was created, the bonds legalized, and provision made for additional funds with which to complete the work. The work was promptly resumed and the bridge is now practically completed. The engine to turn the swing, the gates for the protection of people from accidents, and the house for the engineer will be put in before the opening of navigation.

    And she is a daisy. As Ben Fletcher of the Detroit, Grand Haven, and Milwaukee railroad would say, she is one of our twins. The other ain't yet born, but to be born at Belinda street.

    There were 1,340 piles used in the foundation and approaches, none of them less than 40 feet in length, many of them over 50, and a great many of them more than 2 feet in diameter. There were 1,100 cords of rough stone used in the bridge and approaches, and 1,150 cubic yards of cut stone work. Over 3,500 barrels of water lime cement were used in the work and over 650 tons of steel were used. It is 17 feet high above the high water stage of the river and tugs can go under it without opening the swing. Thus, one of the greatest annoyances is removed. It is so strong that a train of cars could cross it. Each span of 143 feet would bear the weight of over 100 tons. There will be no penalty for crossing the bridge faster than a walk. Omnibuses, loads of stone, sand, gravel, fish or ice, no matter how heavy, can go across it at a gallop if they want to. Four teams can drive abreast across it at once. It is by far the best bridge in this section of country. There is no bridge equal to it in Michigan. The bridge at Toledo is like it. It is the same width, and in many other respects similar. That bridge is 1,200 feet long and cost $375,000. This bridge is a better bridge than the Toledo bridge. This is 815 feet long and cost in round figures $140,000; showing the favorable contract that was made by the county with the Milwaukee Bridge Company. Some important modifications to this contract have been made by the commission, which from the first has shown remarkable capacity to manage its concerns. Of the members of the board, Honorable John Welch, president of the commission is perhaps entitled to the most credit for the improvements made in the plans and approaches, but all the members deserve well for their services. Of the supervisors, Mr. Frank Puddy, Messrs. Swart, Knight, Schmidt, Leng, Pratt and many others rendered valuable services. To Mr. Maxwell must be awarded the credit of insisting on the employment of a competent engineer, and of pressing the matter forward with unceasing energy and pertinacity. The steel used in the bridge was all tested by scientific men. Every pound of it is perfect. The work of the engineer has been enormous. Every bolt, rivet, stone and plank has been seen by Mr. Brawner as it was put in the work. And finally, the Milwaukee bridge company has faithfully performed its contract in a broad spirit of liberality, and the work will remain a monument of its capability and integrity.

    January 11, 1890 - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE - Saturday, Jan. 11, 1890.

    MEET UPON THE BRIDGE.
    -------
    The Railroad Companies Are Now Banded Together.
    -------

    The West Bay City electric railway ordinance comes up before the council Monday night. By that time both street railway companies will have connected their tracks with those of the bridge commission. The west side company has already made such a connection and has strung its wires up to the bridge. The connection of the Bay City company's tracks was being made yesterday and the rails are laid in a novel way. They rest on feet which are spiked to stringers imbedded in the ground.

    Just as soon as the bridge is open for travel, the Bay City company can run its cars across, and by the looks of things the West Bay City company will be in a similar situation. How this state of things will affect the passage of the ordinance it is difficult to say, but if the council adheres to the policy already laid down, that of awaiting a compromise between the two companies, the ordinance will be laid over again.

    January 24, 1890 (Added May, 2011) - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE, FRIDAY, JAN. 24, 1890.

    WE CAN CROSS TO-DAY.
    -------
    The Long Looked For and Expected Day of
    Relief is at Last at Hand.
    -------
    The Third Street Bridge Will Be Opened to
    Teams This Afternoon.
    -------

    The citizens of the two Bay Citys have been casting anxious eyes on the Third street bridge for some time and have been earnestly wishing and praying that the day would soon come when they would not have to drive all around Robin Hood's barn to get across the narrow river that flows between the two Bay Citys. At 2 p.m. to-day the bridge will be thrown open for team travel and many a sigh of relief will go up as this good news is read in this morning's TRIBUNE. Yesterday some fifty or more teams were turned back though their drivers begged hard to be allowed to cross the bridge. The representatives of the bridge company recognized the fact that there was a strong public demand that the bridge be put in shape for travel and they thought the matter over seriously during the evening and finally concluded that they would be generous with the people and not abide by the strict letter of the contract although the commission gave them an example of that spirit.

    Mr. C. McD. Kile was seen at a late hour last evening and when asked as to when the bridge would be opened for team travel, said: "It was not my intention to open the bridge for general use until it was formally turned over to the commission or until such time as it might appear to the commission that the structure was so nearly completed that, owing to the pressing demand for its use, they might allow me to draw on the amount retained according to contract to insure the completion of the bridge. I am well aware that technically considered in contracts of this kind the representatives of the people faithfully discharge their obligations to the public only when they comply strictly with the provisions of such contracts as they execute. But I may say, here is an exception to the general rule. Just what my reasons are for this belief, it is not necessary to state. Suffice it to say, the commission does not care to accept the bridge until it is complete. In order to cOMPLETE the bridge, we shall require perhaps two weeks and may be more. I can see no good reason why the public should not use it. Now, it will be of some inconvenience to us and I shall hope the public will not insist that if we get in their way that we are doing something we ought not to. I will try and have the bridge clear by 2 o'clock today so that all may use it. We, of course, assume no responsibility of accidents. It is to be hoped that pedestrians will not attempt to use the sidewalks as they are in an unsafe condition. They should "keep in the middle of the road." We shall, of course, close the bridge against all travel if occasion should require, but I hope we shall not be compelled so to do."

    January 25, 1890 - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE - Saturday, Jan. 25, 1890.

    IS OPENED AT LAST.
    -------
    The Third Street Bridge Was Opened
    For the Accomodation of the Public Yesterday.
    -------
    Racing Over the Structure --
    The Honors of Crossing Equally Divided by Two Firms.
    -------

    A little man in a seal skin cap and a brown chinchilla overcoat seized a hammer, climbed upon some planking and began to beat a sort of Cooper's chorus on the east end of the Third street bridge yesterday afternoon. He was nervous, anxious, and happy all in one breath and the way he swung the hammer would have done credit to a spile driver. He got along famously in consequence and soon the embargo that had prevented the equine family from enjoying the rights and privileges exercised by the human family was removed. At the west end of the bridge a slender, befurred young man, with a face like a Grecian was emulating his colleague and with equally palpable results. The architectural iconoclasts were respectively C. McD. Kile, the admirable superintendent of the Milwaukee bridge company and Engineer Brawner of the bridge company. The approach on the east side was a mass of horses' heads, cur- ious human faces and vehicles. Water street looked like a bee hive and Third street was in about the same plight.

    "Whoop!" howled Brawner, as the last fell.
    "Whoop!" murmered Kile.
    "Hurrah!" chimed everybody.
    "Get up ther'--go "long--hi--go easy can't, you ------" were the stacato shouts of the anxious, straining drivers. The Phoenix mill delivery wagon was the first vehicle upon the iron work, with Thayer & Gustin's wagon flanking. Then came Buck & Leighton's team followed by Merrill & Fifield, W.L. Brotherton and an endless procession of vehicles.

    "Go slow, go slow!" shouted Kile.
    "Easy you folks!" supplemented Brawner.
    The vehicles passed over the bridge on the walk but it was pretty lively pedestrianism. The Phoenix and Thayer & Gustin teams swept into the west approach on about even terms. Immediately after leaving the bridge, the Buck & Leighton team was given the whip and reached the Central track far in advance of all other vehicles. There were lots of good natured jostling, bantering and so on; and after 100 vehicles had crossed, Leon Woods, a farmer, who had been holding his team in a ditch near the west approach, succeeded in making his way eastward and was the first to enter Bay City.

    February 8, 1890 - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE - Saturday, Feb. 8, 1890.

    INSPECTING THE BRIDGE.
    -------
    President Keepers Pays Bay City a Visit.
    -------

    W. H. Keepers, president of the Milwaukee Bridge and Iron Works, and C. M. McD. Kile, representing the same company arrived in the city yesterday, and after enjoying a late breakfast at the Fraser, proceeded to inspect the Third street bridge.

    "I am here," said Mr. Keepers to a reporter, "to take a final look at the bridge which I haven't seen for six months, and to close up our business here. I usually inspect such important structures when they are completed."

    "Do you anticipate any difficulty in making settlement with the commision?"
    "No, I have no reason to believe there will be any trouble."

    "Will there be an offset on account of the delay in the constructing the bridge?"
    "I don't think so. We have built the bridge according to contract which practically contained no provision whatever as to time of completion. There has been no unreasonable delay in the construction of the bridge. It was built in about six months and could not now be duplicated inside of ten months. It wasn't until along in the summer that we got fairly it underway."

    "Didn't you delay matters until all the money was in sight?"
    "Certainly. We ran a great risk in carrying out the contracts. When we took it we thought it was all right, but when the injunction was issued, it really made the contract invalid, and from that time, it was a lame duck. Then came the organization of the bridge commission and the subsequent efforts to raise the money. The fact of the matter is the people here were not in a position to do business at all. They need a few amendments to their charters or something of that kind. I wouldn't take another such contract as that for the money there is in it, and stand the worry we have had over it, for a good deal."

    The bridge is completed with the exception of a few odd jobs here and there, and according to the statement of Engineer Brawner is ready for the acceptance of the bridge commission at any time.

    March 29, 1890 (Added May, 2011) - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE: SATURDAY, MARCH 29, 1890.

    MAY CLOSE THE ROAD.
    -------
    H. W. Sage Says the Bridge Commission is Trespassing.
    -------
    And he May Possibly Close the Roadway.
    -------

    The path of the bridge commission has never been a smooth and flowery one. It has been beset by difficulties and hedged in with knotty problems, but never has there been a more difficult matter to deal with before the commission than that sprung by Henry W. Sage Thursday in his claim to the entire west side approach. What is more, Mr. Sage has demonstrated that he owns that thoroughfare. His lease with the old bridge company settled that. Everybody has heretofore supposed that the public had gained possession of that highway by the use of it for a long period of years, but it now appears that it has been used by the grace of Mr. Sage. Now Mr. Sage comes and says that he wants compensation for all of that roadway not covered by the lease, and he asks the bridge commission, as the legal successor of the old bridge company, and as the actual possessor of the property now, to buy the land at the rate of $1,000 per lot.

    Mr. Sage's proposition has raised the very serious question whether the bridge commission has power to buy land. The commission is a body of limited powers. It can do certain prescribed things. Buying land is not one of these. Commissioner C. L. Collins admitted that the power of the commission to buy this land was not clearly established. If this be true and the commission is compelled to answer Mr. Sage's proposition by saying that it is powerless to buy, still further difficulties arise. Mr. Sage may bring suit against the commission to dispossess, as he did with the old bridge company, or an action of trespass, or he may attempt to force the commission to terms by closing up the highway. Mr. Sage hinted all these things in a conversation with a reporter. He said that he considered his proposition a fair and reasonable one. He considered that the commission had acted aggressively all along, and when the retaining wall was being built on the south side he told Mr. Welch that the commission was trespassing. By building the wall and raising the roadway the commission had cut off access to his property and destroyed the value of the tier of lots adjoining the roadway. It was his intention in the near future to fill up the slip next to his tramway and the land on his mill property and make good ground of it. This would cost more than the compensation he would receive from the commission, if he obtained any. He had some future plans with reference to this property which he could not make public at present.

      "Have you considered the question whether the commission has power to buy your land?" was asked.
      "That hasn't anything to do with my position. If they haven't power they can get it."
      "Do you expect a reply to your proposition before you leave the city?"
      "No," significantly. "I don't expect anything from the commission. But I can fence up their roadway."

    Mr. Sage further said that he would not make a different proposition from the one already offered. He considered the commission to be trespassing along the whole 770 feet of his property.

    The commission, even if it had the power to buy this land, has no money to do it with. This is an added element of the problem the commission has to deal with. All the avaliable funds have gone to building bridges and there was no calculation on real estate speculation when the estimates were made for the current year.

    April 4, 1890 (Added May, 2011) - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE: FRIDAY, APRIL 4, 1890. - Page 6.

    RID OF THE APPROACH
    -------
    The Commission is Anxious to Give it Away.
    -------

    It has been nearly three months ago since the bridge commission sent a communication to the West Bay City common council asking that a committee be appointed to confer with regard to the ownership of the west side approach. A committee was appointed at the time, but has never met with the commission. Several circumstances have conspired to prevent the meeting. But it is expected that when the smoke of election battle has cleared away and the street railway controversy has somewhat subsided that these gentlemen will get together and frame some plan by which West Bay City will assume control of the debated territory. One of the commissioners remarked that he was confident that West Bay City will annex the approach. For this reason the commission does not wish to take any action regarding it which would be an assertion of its control.

    May 30, 1890 (Added May, 2011) - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY DAILY TRIBUNE: FRIDAY, MAY 30, 1890.

    RAN INTO THE BRIDGE.
    --------
    First Accident to the Third Street Structure.
    -------
    Barge Buckeye State Crashes Into a Pier.
    -------

    At 6 o'clock last evening there occurred the first accident to the new Third street bridge. The barge Buckeye State was coming down stream in tow of the tug Witch of the West. The tug gave four whistles for the bridge to open but the draw did not move. Thinking the bridge would swing in time, as the new steam power acts quickly, the captain made no effort to steer off as he had no anticipation of delay in opening the draw. The first intimation he had was when signalled by the bridge engineer. Then he endeavored to check the speed of the barge, but without avail, and the boat struck the protection planking, crushing and breaking away its heavy timbers. The barge then glanced from this and struck the stone pier on the quarter, breaking and splitting the heavy stones clear through to the opposite side, and moving them from their foundation.

    The stone pier is built by laying the stone work on top of piling driven down into the river bed. The barge was extricated from the wreck with considerable difficulty and towed to Sage's dock, where she now lies. She did not sustain any noticeable injury.

    The cause of the draw not swinging was due to the expansion of the iron work of the structure. Too little space was allowed at each end of the draw to insure free and easy movements, and the hot weather of yesterday caused a lineal expansion that wedged it fast. At least this is the explanation given by men competent to know. The timbers were torn up at the south track of the east end, and the draw was made to work, but it did not swing far enough by about three feet for the street car rails to make connection. The damage to the pier could not be ascertained, but the damage to the supertructure will probably not be heavy. The pier will probably have to be rebuilt, as it is injured from the foundation up.

    The operators of the bridge are receiving some criticism by vessel men, who regard the affair as a miraculous escape from a frightful catastrophe. They say there is both a whistle and a bell on the bridge and some signal should have been given when the swing refused to work. The captains of the tug and barge knew nothing of the difficulty and were expecting to see the bridge swing every instant. Capt. Comer, of Detroit, who will sail the Metropolis was on his boat when it occurred, and said it was the finest piece of generalship on the part of captains that he ever saw. "Why, there is not one time in a thousand that it would have resulted in such slight damage." When Captain Gordon of the tug saw a collission was imminent he headed for the pier, knowing that to strike the bridge would be to topple it over into the stream. As soon as the barge was properly headed the tow line was cut and the tug cleared out of the way. If the line had not been cut the barge would have swung around and crashed broadside against the structure. But Capt. Gordon let go just in time and then Capt. Richard Tomlin, of the barge, showed good judgement in keeping his craft from the bridge. There were a great many people on the bridge at the time and many lives would undoubtedly have been sacrificed had it gone over.

    June 29, 1890 (Added May, 2011) - Go to: Menu

    BAY CITY TIMES: SUNDAY, JUNE 29, 1890. - Page 7.

    THE BRIDGE APPROACHES.
    -------
    A City Father Wants to See Them Built of Cobble Stone.
    -------

    There is where some money might be saved," said an alderman to the writer last evening. The speaker referred to the east and west approaches of the Third street bridge, which have been undergoing repairs from time to time ever since the bridge was built.

    "Plank should never have been used in building the approaches," continued the city father. "There is nothing better for that purpose than cobble stone. A pavement of this kind would wear 20 years and would cost less than several built of plank which would become worn out in that time. Then too, if a pavement of this kind was built, it would not be necessary to make repairs to it every few weeks. For some time to come the ground at both approaches will settle. If a cobble pavement was built it would be but little work to make repairs when the ground did settle. A stone could be raised, a little earth thrown underneath it, and all would be lovely. I should like very much to see a pavement of this kind laid from the west end of the bridge to the Michigan Central tracks. There is only one thing that would interfere, and that is, cobble stone could not be laid between these two points unless a stone wall was built underneath the present walk on the north side of the road to hold the stone in place. A wall of this kind would cost but very little money. When the present approaches are worn out, I hope that the people will see fit to build them of stone. They would find it a great improvement which would result in the saving of considerable cash in 20 years."

    Related Pages & Notes

    1867 Birdseye View of Bridge

    Writings/
    1879 Man Walks Off Bridge
    1883 County Buys a Bridge
    Maps Library/
    {1918 Map of Bridge Area}
    People Referenced
    Bogart, Charles A. (Dr.)
    Brawner,
    Collins, C.L.
    Fletcher, Ben
    Gaffney, William
    Gilbert, Uri
    Gilbert, W.H.
    Glasby, William F.
    Comer, Capt.
    Green, S.M. (Hon.)
    Gordon, Capt.
    Hatch, H.H. (Hon.)
    Hill, Isaac H.
    Jennison, Charles E.
    Keepers, W.H.
    Kile, Mr.
    Knight, Nathan
    Leng,
    Maxwell, A.G.
    Phillips, J.P. (Capt.)
    Pratt,
    Puddy, Frank
    Sage, Henry W.
    Schmidt,
    Swart, Ira E.
    Tomlin, Richard Capt.
    Van Liew, E.S.
    Welch, John (Hon.)
    Westover, Morris
    Woods, Leon
    Subjects Referenced

    Bay City Common Council
    Bay Co. Bd. of Supervisors
    Belinda bridge
    Bids (20 companies)
    Businesses:
    Bay City Bridge Co.(old)
    Buck & Leighton
    Det.,Grand Haven&Milwaukee RR
    First National Bank
    Fraser house
    Merrill & Fifield
    Michigan Central RR
    Milwaukee Bridge Co.
    Phoenix mill
    Street railway companies
    Thayer & Gusin business
    WBC Electric railway
    W.L. Brotherton business
    Circuit court injunction
    Coopers chorus
    County sued for injuries
    Old bridge, closed
    Old bridge, swing pier
    Old bridge, taking down
    Old bridge, tolls
    Omnibuses
    New bridge, commission
    New bridge, stats
    Scott street
    Second street
    Third street
    Toledo bank
    Toledo bridge
    Twenty-third street bridge
    U.S. Courts
    Water street
    Welch's dock
    West Bay City
    Internet Resources
    None at this time.
    WRITINGS: History As It Was Written Then.