Chippewa Herald-Telegram from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on June 30, 1972 · 3
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Chippewa Herald-Telegram from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin · 3

Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Friday, June 30, 1972
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mV SfX).Ane Railroad bridge was above the dam. In the CNR R.R. bridge.- how many by IRENE HERRMANN Herald-Telegram Columnist Chippewa Falls could be called the "City of Bridges" for there are 24 spans, counting the overpasses, within the city limits. Local residents, going about their Hoilv Vninnocc rtff on . nocc over or under several of these spans each day without being really aware.of them. Six bridges . cross the" Chippewa River; eight span Duncan Creek; one , us a "nimbly bridge;" and there are nine over passes. Miss Josie Burrows of the Chippewa Manor, who puts her leisure time to good use, recently compiled some interesting history of Chippewa Falls bridges, calling upon, her clear recollections of the early days of the Chippewa community, and researching the subject at the Public. IibrarySne "was happy 'to have' me -share this history with' Herald-Telegram readers. Twin concrete bridges will Accommodate the traffic of Highway 53, still under construction. CmU h& 4 V f v Herman Schindler, Chippewa County Highway Commissioner, peers from the newly repaired "Rumbly Bridge" in Irvine Park. . .. r From 1857 to 1867, before the first bridge was built, a ferry operated between the south and north banks of the Chippewa . River. This - was the only means of transporting people, teams and merchandise between Frenchtown and the village of Chippewa Falls. It is recorded that the first teacher, Miss Buzzell, arrived during spring flood time and had to wait in Frenchtown until the water subsided. After alighting from the ferry at the "Falls" she found she still had to cross Duncan Creek and she. did so on - a broad plank, clinging to the shoulder of a sturdy raftsman. IN THE j EARLY days" before 1880 a wooden bridge .extended across Duncan Crefek "at the east end of River Street, and a flight of steps clung to the steep '. hillside for access to Notre AW vaVjW! J 1L ' 'J : r" 'w - - background is the bridges In Chippewa Falls? Dame Church and the east side of town. A wagon bridge built above the dam in 1868 was destined - for disaster. It was damaged by fire; then repaired and used as a toll bridge until it was washed away in the . flood of 1&0. In 1874 a wooden bridge was built at the north end of Main Street Like most early bridges it had piers like huge wooden boxes filled with large rocks. At each end of the bridge was a sign reading, "Speed limit 15 miles." Until 1891 when electricity' was available kerosene lanterns also hung at each entrance to provide night light In 1880 the CNW Railroad . built the first railroad bridge across the Chippewa, just east of, the dam, and it is still in use. About 1882 the Wisconsin Central Railroad (later the Soo) built a trestle over the south end of Duncan Creek. A part of the foundation still stands 'after 90 years. The same company also built a railroad bridge at the present location of the Highway 53 bridge but this was later replaced by a bridge nearly a 1 half-mile down-, stream. The company also extended its line to Eau Claire by constructing a "Short Line" bridge across the Chippewa where the waste plant now stands. THE MAIN STREET bridge also fell victim to fire and was replaced in 1900 by an iron bridge of several -spans, using some of the materials from the first structure. William Irvinegavethe city 142 acres for a park in 1906 and six years later had a bridge built across Duncan Creek to complete a scenic circular drive. The year 1917 saw construction of another bridge as the Soo Line Railroad relocated its passenger depot With the depot on Canal Street a new railroad trestle was built to the west of the Main Street bridge and an overhead was constructed over Main Street south of the Main Street bridge. In the late 1920s the city recognized the need for better river-crossing facilities and in 1933 the "New" bridge was constructed, spanning the Northern States Power dam. Traffic has been streaming across the concrete structure ever since. EXCEPT FOR THE usual maintenance, bridge work tapered off then until 1971 when the re-routing of Highway 53 touched the City of Chippewa Falls. Two concrete bridges now span the Chippewa at the west city limits and three wide cement riboons curve out over South Park Avenue " and blend into old Highway 53. But that doesn't endthe bridge story for Chippewa Falls for bridges wear out eventually and new bridges must be built Today it is the Main Street bridge that is ailing, suffering from a plague of rust. As one "patient" worsens, however, we learn that another has made a successful recovery from its ailment . The "Rumbly Bridge" in Irvine Park has a heavy new plank floor and a fresh coat of creosote. I drove across it yesterday as Chippewa County Highway Commissioner Herman Schindler . was showing it off to some county board members. It's great to have it back in use and it still rumbles, though much more sedately. 'New" Bridge, above the dam. was constructed in 1933 and every day. V X A 1 .1 This was the "New" Soo Line Main Street bridge weathered , ., - ' .ftA ,.?"'VS . CHIPPEWA - yum r w. ii-i'nyiy j ,v ill , '" T """""" ikvwxK- '""" 't ywM """i f"1" - Y ! :mm v i8:jfe'ii- 1 in i j.fe.w,rr-fe-vCt ; ' LI im una i".a- 1 1 nmrai Margaret and Anthony Burrows stand on the Short location) about 1885. ..... -. . ,; : ... . . Y myi-&.&& : " nr4f ii Railroad bridge in 1917. a severe flood in 1909. HERALDTELEGRAM ' FRIDAY, - handles heavy traffic Be'. JUNE 20, 1972 SECTIONA PAGE 3 Line Bridge (at Waste Plant - --- - 1 J -

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