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Waterford in Saratoga County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Union Bridge

 
 
Union Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 5, 2008
1. Union Bridge Marker
Inscription.
RiverSpark
Union Bridge

The site of the Union Bridge, the first bridge over the Hudson River, the original Union Bridge was built in 1804 by the people of Waterford and Lansingburgh. This wooden, covered toll bridge was designed by Theodore Burr, noted bridge architect. Operated by Union Bridge Company, the toll in 1805 was eighteen cents for farmers and twenty five cents for "gentlemen's" wagons.
Seven hundred and ninety-seven feet long, with four spans and two roadways the bridge was destroyed by fire on July 10, 1909.
 
Erected by River Spark.
 
Location. 42° 47.343′ N, 73° 40.505′ W. Marker is in Waterford, New York, in Saratoga County. Marker is on Broad Street (New York State Route 4), on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Waterford NY 12188, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Waterford Bridges (here, next to this marker); Troy - Waterford Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); Gen. Henry Knox Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Waterford Station
RiverSpark Union Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 5, 2008
2. RiverSpark Union Bridge Marker
This is one of two RiverSpark Union Bridge Markers. This one is on the east/Lansingburgh side of the bridge. Additionally, the bridge builder's plaque is seen here mounted above the RiverSpark Union Bridge plaque.
(approx. 0.3 miles away); Lock 2 Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Flight of Five Locks (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Matton Shipyard (approx. mile away); Herman Melville (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Waterford.
 
More about this marker. There are two RiverSpark plaques, each one mounted on opposite ends of the bridge.
 
Regarding Union Bridge. In 1804, Theodore Burr designed the first "sizable bridge" crossing New York's Hudson River, at Waterford, New York. It lasted until 1909, when it was destroyed by fire. The "Burr arch truss", used two long arches, resting on the abutments on either end, that typically sandwiched a multiple kingpost structure. Theodore Burr built nearly every bridge that crossed the Susquehanna River from Binghamton, New York, to Maryland in those days. His successes made him the most distinguished architect of bridges in the country. Today's modern bridges with their graceful arches can be traced back to Theodore Burr and his contemporaries.
 
Additional keywords.
RiverSpark Union Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 8, 2008
3. RiverSpark Union Bridge Marker
This view shows the Union Bridge marker on the west/Waterford end of the bridge.
126th Street Bridge Closed Detour

 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsMan-Made FeaturesRoads & Vehicles
 
The 1804 Wooden Covered Union Bridge at Waterford image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 11, 2013
4. The 1804 Wooden Covered Union Bridge at Waterford
This photo is on display at an interpretive display in the park in Waterford.
Union Bridge Fire - July 10, 1909 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 11, 2013
5. Union Bridge Fire - July 10, 1909
After a half hour's burning three of the four bridge spans dropped into the river and with them six members of the volunteer fire department. They were rescued with difficulty and escaped injury. This photo is on an information kiosk in the park near the bridge.
Union Bridge Fire July 10, 1909 image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, September 18, 2008
6. Union Bridge Fire July 10, 1909
This photo is on display at the Waterford Historical Museum and Cultural Center, located in the 1830 Hugh White Homestead.
The 1909 Union Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 8, 2008
7. The 1909 Union Bridge
The original stone piers of the Union Bridge are encased in the concrete piers that support the current Troy - Waterford Bridge.
Union Bridge Builder's Plaque - East End of the Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, May 5, 2008
8. Union Bridge Builder's Plaque - East End of the Bridge
Erected 1909
For The
Union Bridge Company
Thomas A. Knickerbacker
President
By The
Phoenix Bridge Company
Boller And Hodge
Engineers.
Burr Truss - Patent Number: US0X0002769 image. Click for full size.
United States Patent and Trademark Office
9. Burr Truss - Patent Number: US0X0002769
This is a patent drawing for the Burr Truss, the type used on the Union Bridge in Waterford in 1804. The Burr truss combines an arch with a multiple-Kingpost truss. Though the Union bridge was built in 1804, this patent for the truss design was not issued until April 3, 1817.
The Union Bridge across the Hudson image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, March 2, 2007
10. The Union Bridge across the Hudson
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 22, 2013, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 306 times since then and 28 times this year. Last updated on November 23, 2013, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on September 22, 2013, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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