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Old May 21, 2005, 3:38 PM   #1
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Somebody made the mistake of mentioning old bridges, and this one in my home towncame to mind.

It's recently been rebuilt, having lost a span in the hurricane of 1938, and a second a few years back. Luckily, it did not fall when my wife and I canoed under it, since she was concerned about that every time we did it, and I was certain (and dead wrong as it turned out) that it would never collapse.

Across this bridge, legend has it, former bookseller Henry Knox led troops and horses in January, 1776. They were hauling, pushing, levering43 heavy brass and iron cannons,6 small bronze mortars (coehorns),8full-sizemortars, and2 howitzers from Fort Ticonderoga on Lake Champlain, New York, to Washington's position outsideBoston.

Washington deployed the artillery along the hills around Boston. Lord William Howe, commander of the British troops in Boston,saw that only the evacuation of his army could save it, and on March 18th, the victorious American army marched into the deserted city.

The artillery was not legend - but itISlegend that this was one of the bridges that Knox and his group crossed. This bridge, according to somebody, was built around 1790, possibly using stones from the earlier, authentic Fort Ti / Knox Trail bridge.

Theheights above Boston are nowjust history-- in the late 1800s, theywere hauled, wheelbarrow load by wheelbarrow load, to fill in Back Bay, stillthe poshest part of town, and the only place where streets run straight and you can drive around the block.

Stone bridge from the river bank:



From the bridge's abutment. It no longer reaches to the far bank.



From the top, looking toward Boston, 22 miles east.



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Old May 21, 2005, 4:16 PM   #2
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Great shots, DG. You gotta love a piece of history like that. That was an interesting bit of legeng there. If you have any more like that, please share them.

Bob
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Old May 21, 2005, 5:38 PM   #3
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That is a beautiful old bridge there DG. I love Old stone work be it bridges or buildings. That scene look so inviting, I can imagine whiling away the day sitting and relaxing under those trees. Thank you for shareing. Like Bob said don't hold back. Post more if you have them.

Dawg
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Old May 21, 2005, 6:09 PM   #4
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Nice shots and a great lesson, too. Thanks DG

Dan


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Old May 21, 2005, 7:42 PM   #5
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Very good shots of the bridge DG. I wonder how they could make the arches for the waterway under the bridge. Guess stone arches have been built long before the bridge was thou.

Al
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Old May 21, 2005, 7:49 PM   #6
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I keep coming back to look at these shots. I love the stonework and the peaceful looking river. Like Dawg says, I could set there all day.

Bob
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Old May 21, 2005, 10:41 PM   #7
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Thanks, all...

Bob, bring your longies if you plan sitting here right about now (42 degrees and drizzling).

Alandjo, you ask a good question. The stone is granite, probably quarried either just south of Boston or many miles north, near Rockport and sent by sea to Boston. It would have been carried from Boston by horse and wagon.

The river is the Sudbury, which joins up with the Assabet about 10 miles north of here to form the Concord. At this point, the Sudbury's maybe three feet deep in the spring and only a few inches deep by mid summer.

You build this kind of archover a wooden form, which wouldn't be too hard in this placid river, because you wouldn't need to dam or divert it. It would be tough work to cut and set the granite, though. It's beyond me how you'd build tall arched structures like the Pont du Gard aquaduct in France(360 meters/1,180 ftlong, 48 meters/158 fthigh in 3 tiers) -- oracross serious, white-water rivers.
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Old May 21, 2005, 11:22 PM   #8
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I do love rock structures. Wouldn't want to build one, but I do like looking at them and thinking of all the work that went into them. Thanks again DG for letting us have a look. That part of the country sure is full of history.


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