Saturday, October 7, 2017

Aban/Penn/GR&I and Maple Street Bridges over Muskegon River in Big Rapids, MI

(GR&I SatelliteMaple Street SatelliteOld Maple Street Bridge Hunter)

The last GR&I bridge is now the Blue Bridge.

I don't normally do a road bridge with a railroad bridge unless they share the same truss and pier structure. But this photo includes both a road and a railroad bridge even though they were a couple of miles away from each other before the river flooded.

Dan Barber posted
Unknown year date – this cabinet card says "Wreck of G.R. & I.R.R. Bridge at M.S. Bridge." I've never ascertained where "M.S." was, but this is a most unusual photo of a rail accident involving serious bridge damage. No locomotive or train cars are visible, so this was likely the result of spring flooding and logs washing away bridge foundations.
Ben Higdon Maple Street Bridge in Big Rapids? The GR&I bridge would've had to be taken two miles downstream to make it there.
Dennis DeBruler Bridge Hunter has another view of the old MS Bridge Both old images show the river is normally rather low. But the accident picture shows the river level is close to the bottom of the MS Bridge. So the river level was probably close to the bottom of the GR&I Bridge. The GR&I bridge is made of wood instead of metal, so it would tend to float. And look at all of the logs around the GR&I span. It appears the swollen river swept the logs off a sawmill's property and jammed them against the GR&I spans and shoved the spans off their foundations. So I can believe that the flooded river did shove the two spans down to the MS Bridge.

Dennis DeBruler But there is the issue of what happened to the Pere Marquette's spans? Maybe they were metal and they sunk out of the way.
Tom Carter That photo shows the result of the log jam in the summer of 1883 after it broke through several bridges on the Grand River in Grand Rapids. I wrote a summery of the event as well as some history of the Michigan logging industry that I posted on the " If You Grew Up in Grand Rapids/Kent County,then you remember....” Facebook page that you can access here. You need to join the page, then put “logjam” (one word) in the search box near the top and it should be the first thing to come up. Here’s the link:
Ben Higdon commented on the above posting

Tom Carter posted 31 photos with captions along with a significant comment as to why there were problems with logjams in Grand Rapids. His comment includes a description of why the Shay locomotive was developed. He also references for more information.

[The top photo is also in this CatSkillArchive article.]
Ron Vance has at least three postings in the Grand Rapids group, each with some photos. This is a representative photo:
From Ron Vance's posting
Logjam of 1883
[Another one of his postings shows a serious ice jam in 1907.]
Dale Husar posted
1883 photo of a log Jam On The Grand. Logs in the middle are blurry due to moving Downstream. Photo was captioned as being taken on West Bridge Street looking Northeast across the river.
[West Street goes along the west bank, so the location is not very definitive. But it doesn't matter much because I assume the whole river is full of logs if they are moving.]

No comments:

Post a Comment