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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Joseph in Berrien County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

St. Joseph River Swing Bridge

 
 
St. Joseph River Swing Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
1. St. Joseph River Swing Bridge Marker
Inscription. St. Joseph's swing bridge allows passage for both maritime and railroad commerce. An alternative to a drawbridge, the swing bridge pivots open for vessels to pass and closes for trains to cross. St. Joseph's swing bridge is typically left open until a train approaches.

Three swing bridges have crossed the St. Joseph River at this location. The first swing bridge opened in 1870 when the Chicago & Michigan Lake Shore Railroad expanded. The second bridge was built by the Chicago & West Michigan Railroad in 1887. The Pere Marquette Railroad commissioned the present bridge, which was completed in 1904. The bridge is owned and maintained by CSX (Chessie and Seaboard Expanded) Transportation.

(Upper Left Photo Caption)
The 1887 bridge was replaced after sixteen years when it proved too light for newer locomotives.
Photo: The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center

(Upper Right Photo Caption)
During the boating season, a bridge attendant is on duty 24 hours a day to allow passage for boats and freighters, such as the SAM LAUD, shown above circa 1995. In winter, the bridge is unmanned and locked to accommodate trains.
Photo: The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center

(Lower Photo Caption)
Due to its well-balanced construction, the 231-foot, 300-ton bridge
St. Joseph River Swing Bridge<br>and Commercial Fishing Markers image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
2. St. Joseph River Swing Bridge
and Commercial Fishing Markers
Along the St. Joseph Maritime Heritage Trail
can be turned with a single 10-horsepower electric motor. It takes approximately 42 seconds to open.
Postcard (circa 1925): The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center
 
Erected by City of St. Joseph, The Heritage Museum and Cultural Center, and the Public History Program at Western Michigan University.
 
Location. 42° 6.707′ N, 86° 28.89′ W. Marker is in St. Joseph, Michigan, in Berrien County. Marker is on Water Street west of State Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Joseph MI 49085, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Commercial Fishing (within shouting distance of this marker); Creating a Harbor (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Joseph's Firemen (within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Lighthouse Supply Depot (within shouting distance of this marker); Commercial Shipping (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Recreational Boating (about 300 feet away); Shipbuilding in the Twin Cities (about 400 feet away); St. Joseph Maritime Heritage (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in St. Joseph.
 
More about this marker. The marker is the eleventh of 12 interpretive
1887 St. Joseph River Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
3. 1887 St. Joseph River Bridge
Close-up of Image on Marker
signs along the St. Joseph Maritime Heritage Trail.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. These are the markers of the St. Joseph Maritime Heritage Trail. To study the markers in their order along the trail, read each marker in the order shown.
 
Also see . . .  St. Joseph Railroad Bridge - historicbridges.org. (Submitted on August 30, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.)
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsRailroads & Streetcars
 
The Bridge Swung to Allow<br>Passage of the <i>Sam Laud</i>, circa 1995 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
4. The Bridge Swung to Allow
Passage of the Sam Laud, circa 1995
Close-up of Image on Marker
Postcard of Bridge circa 1925 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
5. Postcard of Bridge circa 1925
Close-up of Image on Marker
St. Joseph River Swing Bridge, 2013 image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, April 26, 2013
6. St. Joseph River Swing Bridge, 2013
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 497 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 30, 2013, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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