Sunday, July 21, 2013

More of the Long Gone (Seneca River) Bridges of Cayuga County

Well, the search continues with help from Montezuma Historian Cheryl Longyear and Bill Hecht's site of old photos.You can find the collection that has these top photos here.

The top photo shows the bridge that carried the old West Shore (officially the New York, West Shore, and Buffalo Railway)  over the Seneca just north of Montezuma. My guess is that the photo was taken from the old Rochester, Syracuse and Eastern Interurban Trolley line bridge. This bridge is no longer there.
The bottom photo is of the New York Central RR mainline bridge, a much more substantial structure as it carried four tracks across the river.  This bridge is still being used.

These two photos show Free Bridge over the Seneca, which is now Route 5 and 20 across the Montezuma Marshes. I include the top photo because it is fairly representative of the style of bridges that were used to cross the river before the Barge Canal. As the river wasn't really used for shipping, the bridges could rest on low piles and be a much simpler structures. Once the Barge Canal was dredged out of the river, the bridges had to be rebuilt and or raised. The 1917 photo of the new "Free Bridge" shows what was built to replace the older crossing. Of course, this bridge was replaced by a newer bridge which is called the Menard Memorial bridge, and now that is now going to be rebuilt. Locals still call it "free bridge".

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