Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Sixth Street Bridge, Collingwood Ontario

Of all of the historical images in my collection, this one remains one of my most favourite ones.  This wonderful shot was taken of the Sixth Street Bridge which crosses Silver Creek at the junction of Sixth Street and Osler Bluff Road on the 24th of May, 1912.  I have always referred to the mountain side of Sixth Street as "Old Mountain Road" as it was much closer to town than the County Road 19 access road which is closer to Osler Bluff Ski Club.  

The first bridge over Silver Creek was constructed in the mid 19th century, and then was replaced by one of iron in the 1880's.  The current and final structure was built in 1911, and this photo is unique in that it shows not only the current bridge, but the previous iron one as well.  The railing on the newer bridge was eventually changed from one of open construction to concrete, and at one time you could still discern the construction date of 1911 on the lower part of the concrete.

I have a particular fondness for this site as my folks live just upstream of this bridge, and I grew up playing in this river and under the bridge too.  Many will no doubt recognize the structure, but few will appreciate the history behind it.  In honour of this wonderful local landmark I penned a poem on the subject of bridges.  

The rush of water beneath
The flow of traffic above
River of life and history
Bridges take many forms
Of stone, wood or concrete
A marker of time, and a means of travel
Bearing silent witness
To the ebb and flow of nature and humanity
Be it humble or grand
A bridge crosses nature
To reunite man

I hope you've enjoyed this post, and thank you for reading it!

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