Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Littleton in Grafton County, New Hampshire — The American Northeast (New England)
 

The Curran Suspension Bridge

 
 
The Curran Suspension Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
1. The Curran Suspension Bridge Marker
Inscription.
The Curran Suspension Bridge, and its engineer, Kenneth Curran, enjoy a long and rich history in the Town of Littleton, a history that reflects the industrious, self-reliant nature of both town and benefactor.

The Curran Bridge is the third such bridge in this spot, an essential link between the industrial section of town on the north side of the Ammonoosuc and the residential section of the town on the south side. Prior to the first bridge being erected in the late 1800's, workers used a rope drawn skiff to cross the Ammonoossuc to get to the Saranac Glove Factory, which was founded in 1866. With the advent of the factory's switch to steam power in the late 1800's, the river breached the dam and its dam power, making the passage by skiff impractical, and the first wooden structure was built.

A suspension bridge was originally built on this site in 1902. Suspension bridge technology enabled a much longer main span than with other types of bridge construction. With a span across the Ammonoosuc of 244 feet, such a long main span was very important. The original suspension bridge was lost in the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, which caused considerable damage across the State of New Hampshire and brought 163 mph winds to nearby Mt. Washington. Faced with a dilemma to preserve or replace the bridge,
The Curran Suspension Bridge Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
2. The Curran Suspension Bridge Marker (wide view)
the Town turned to a Littleton native, recently returning home after receiving an Engineering degree from Northwestern University. Frugal and disciplined by nature, Kenneth Elwin Curran (1912-2003) returned to his hometown determined to make an impact, and this began with his work on replacing the lost suspension bridge. The town voted to award Curran the contract at a cost of $3,250. While Curran replaced the wooden towers with steel, he examined the underground anchors to the steel cables and found them wrapped in lanolin rich deer hides which preserved/the cables. He left them alone. This diligence allowed Curran to complete the construction of this bridge for $3,049, and he refused to bill the Town for the balance. This balance of personal business interest with respect and fairness became a hallmark of Curran's career, regarding every job as a promise to the taxpayer. His firm grew to be a major employer in the region, employing hundreds and constructing airfields, dams, utilities, schools, and notably, bridges across New England. Fiscally prudent and politically vocal, Curran was valued by the government agencies who funded many of his construction jobs, who respected his commitment to bring his projects in under budget. Curran was a disciplined man who loved his hometown of Littleton and its surrounding wildlife. He planned an endowment to the Town after his death which
The Curran Suspension Bridge Marker (<i>duplicate/identical marker at north end of bridge</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
3. The Curran Suspension Bridge Marker (duplicate/identical marker at north end of bridge)
ensured his-first public works contract, this bridge, would stand in perpetuity, and the Town of Littleton in turn named this bridge the Curran Suspension Bridge.
 
Location. 44° 18.332′ N, 71° 46.674′ W. Marker is in Littleton, New Hampshire, in Grafton County. Marker is on Riverside Drive north of South Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is a large metal tablet mounted on a granite pedestal. Marker is beside the walking path which leads to the subject bridge. There are two identical copies of this marker: one placed at the south end of the bridge and another placed at the north end of the bridge. These directions are for the marker at the south end. Marker is in this post office area: Littleton NH 03561, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Congregational Church (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Littleton Diner (approx. 0.2 miles away); Masonic Temple (approx. 0.2 miles away); U.S. Post Office and Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Legendary Landmark (approx. 0.2 miles away); Host to History (approx. 0.2 miles away); Thayer's White Mountain Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away); Parker's Marketplace (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Littleton.
 
Also see . . .
The Curran Suspension Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
4. The Curran Suspension Bridge

1. The Ken Curran Suspension Bridge.
In the 1800’s the bridge was erected for workers of the Saranac Glove Factory to walk from their homes on South Street to the factory. Today it is still a means of getting across the river, as a walking route for daily exercise, students heading to and from school and a means to access Littleton’s Main Street. (Submitted on April 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Curran Suspension Bridge.
An enterprising but young engineer named Kenneth E. Curran salvaged the steel suspension cables and offered to construct a modern foot bridge on the site for $3,000. On March 14, 1939 the citizens voted to borrow the money. Lyons Iron Works in Manchester, NH fabricated the steel, and Curran hired Mark Carr, and together with two laborers, the four erected the foot bridge with a ginpole. (Submitted on April 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsIndustry & CommerceMan-Made Features
 
The Curran Suspension Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
5. The Curran Suspension Bridge
The Curran Suspension Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
6. The Curran Suspension Bridge
The Curran Suspension Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
7. The Curran Suspension Bridge
Ammonoosuc River view from Curran Suspension Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 7, 2017
8. Ammonoosuc River view from Curran Suspension Bridge
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 24, 2018. This page originally submitted on April 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 75 times since then. Last updated on April 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1. submitted on April 12, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
Paid Advertisement