Thousand Islands Bridge System
The tons of explosives, concrete and steel used to create the five spans of the bridge system only hint of the tremendous efforts to create the bridge system. Glad of getting work in the Great Depression, the workers took any job they could and laboured long hours in all kinds of weather. They took only 16 months to complete the construction. Astonishingly, they had finished 10 weeks ahead of schedule. And the $3,050,000 spent to build the system came in under budget! What they achieved would be amazing even if they had the use of today's technology.
But the tools and equipment were not as powerful, as easy to operate, or as reliable as those we use now. Despite the basic — and seldom used safety equipment — only one worker was killed. Although most of the workers came from the local area, the high steel workers were brought in from the Kahnawd:ke Mohawk Reserve in Quebec. Today the bridge is a tourist attraction on its own — resplendent in the green paint specially formulated for it. It also stands as a symbol of the determination and industriousness of its builders and of the lasting friendship and peace between two nations.
[Photo captions, clockwise from top left, read] First Nations Mohawks from Kahnawd:ke, Quebec were hired for the high steel work because they could work fearlessly at
Motorcade on the Canadian Span with Prime Minister Wm. Lyons Mackenzie King & President Roosevelt arriving at the Dedication, 18 Aug 1938
This bridge stands as an open door... where the boundary is crossed, the only word must be, "Pass, friend."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt speaking at the Bridge Dedication
Local workers placing reinforcing steel (Hilliard Bevins on left), 1938
Early drawing showing the proposed (and final) 14 km route and 5 spans of the USA-Canadian system (c1930)
Trowelling the cement deck of the suspension span, 1938
Location. 44° 22.099′ N, 75° 58.154′ W. Marker is in Darlingside, Ontario, in Leeds & Grenville Counties. Marker is at the intersection of Thousand Islands Parkway and Darlingside Drive, on the right when traveling east on Thousand Islands Parkway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: Roadside Pullout on Thousand Islands Parkway, Darlingside, Ontario, Canada.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 16 kilometers of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Thousand Islands (here, next to this marker); Darlingside (a few steps from this marker); The Darling Store / Le magasin Darling (a few steps from this marker); Elizabeth Rabb Beatty
Also see . . .
1. Thousand Islands Bridge System: Our History. (Submitted on March 19, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Thousand Islands Bridge 75th Anniversary Historical Photos. (Submitted on March 19, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Thousand Islands Bridge Stats. (Submitted on March 19, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Categories. • Bridges & Viaducts • Man-Made Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 1, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 19, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 83 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on March 19, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. 2, 3. submitted on March 20, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.