“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Medicine Hat in Cypress County, Alberta — Canada’s Prairie Region

Finlay Bridge

Completed in 1908

— Municipal Historic Resource —

Finlay Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
cmh2315fl via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), May 30, 2015
1. Finlay Bridge Marker
Inscription.  Finlay Bridge is a vehicle and foot bridge that crosses the South Saskatchewan River, connecting the north (Riverside) and south sides (downtown) of Medicine Hat. It officially opened in May 14, 1908/

Finlay Bridge is named for William T. Finlay: Mayor of Medicine Hat from 1900-1902, representative for Medicine Hat in the Territorial Government 1902-1905, and Medicine Hat's first representative in the Alberta Legislature 1905-1910. As MLA and Minister of Agriculture, he advocated for many improvements in the region, perhaps most notably this bridge.

Constructed of steel, concrete, and wood, this 274 m span consists of abutments on each bank, four concrete piers and five steel arches. The bridge as originally constructed was 4.88 m wide, with a wooden deck and a wooden sidewalk running along the west side of traffic. At the time of construction, Finlay Bridge was the longest steel bridge in Alberta and the second longest across the South Saskatchewan River. Until the Trans-Canada Bridge was opened in 1955, Finlay Bridge was part of the original Trans-Canada Highway, the only place for traffic to cross the river for 145 km in
Finlay Bridge image. Click for full size.
cmh2315fl via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0), May 30, 2015
2. Finlay Bridge
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either direction. Joseph Carbert was the City of Medicine Hat Superintending Engineer. John Chalmers was the Chief Engineer, and Mr. McIntyre the Engineer. The contractor was the Canadian Bridge Company Limited of Walkerville, Ontario.

Although Medicine Hat's two banks had been connected by a rail bridge since 1883 and a small ferry service originally operated by the North West Mounted Police, Finlay Bridge truly linked Medicine Hat to the rest of the new province of Alberta.

Designated December 19, 2011, by the City of Medicine Hat as a Municipal Historic Resource.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsGovernment & Politics. A significant historical date for this entry is May 14, 1908.
Location. 50° 2.516′ N, 110° 40.667′ W. Marker is in Medicine Hat, Alberta, in Cypress County. Marker is on 6th Avenue SE, 0.1 kilometers north of 1st Street SE (Provincial Route 41A), on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Medicine Hat AB T1A 8E6, Canada. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Finlay Bridge (here, next to this marker); Central Motors, Empress Theater, Medicine Hat News (within shouting distance of this marker); River Road — "Gunter's Folly" (within shouting distance of this marker); Medicine Hat Veterans Memorial (within shouting
William Thomas Finlay (1853-1914) image. Click for full size.
via Glenbow Archives NA-765-1 (public domain), circa 1910
3. William Thomas Finlay (1853-1914)
He became Alberta's first agriculture minister upon the province's creation on Sept. 1, 1905. He also served in the Northwest Territories legislative assembly and was Medicine Hat's second mayor.
distance of this marker); Medicine Hat WW I 1914 - 1918 Veterans Memorial (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); A. P. Burns House and Gas City Planing Mill (about 90 meters away); Medicine Hat Flood Memorial (about 90 meters away); Site of Medicine Hat's First Radio Station (about 90 meters away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Medicine Hat.
Also see . . .  The Finlay Bridge is the oldest Bridge in Medicine Hat. Short segment about the bridge, completed in 1908 and still a key crossing in the city. (Shaw Spotlight, uploaded Nov. 13, 2020) (Submitted on April 30, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 30, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. This page has been viewed 86 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 30, 2022, by Duane and Tracy Marsteller of Murfreesboro, Tennessee.
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Mar. 27, 2023