In a search for one, we turn up many…
At a river crossing which in time had fallen under the gaze of a succession of bridge builders. A bit of a who’s who amongst New Hampshire bridgewrights and bridge design engineers, most of these, already spoken of here. Their work demanded, as the winds of time and happenstance, with its January thaws and their flowing ice, and log jams and rouge gales, would in turn destroy that of those they followed.
This Crossing chartered with the stoke of a pen by a man who would one day be the nation’s President. This detail and others in the crossings history brought to us in the words of a John Kimball, one time Building Agent for the City of Concord, in his annual report to the city. With a flair for pared down storytelling, he wrote with a cogency and an ability to be descriptive which is far from common, and almost unheard of in the requisite reports of a city agency administrator – Thank you Mr. Kimball
Dutton’s bridge seems to have served well. Though in time fell to a different set of circumstance, in the Spring of 1914 several “auto trucks fell through city bridges” The City Engineer was ordered to inspect every bridge in town. His resulting report recommended that “five bridges be strengthened or replaced with suitable modern structures” Sewall’s Falls was among these. It was replaced in 1915 with a Riveted Pratt through truss designed by John Storrs. (See January ’12 entry – As Mysteries Unfold) This bridge, still carrying traffic into its ninety-seventh year, is itself now slated for replacement. As ammunition in the battle for preservation of the current crossing, a bill was several years ago introduced to rename the bridge after Storrs.
While I can appreciate both the effort, (I stand in that camp) and the homage paid. Being that this succession of bridges have shared a common name, that predated even the first construction, I see it as a tie to time which should, like the bridge that now carries the name, simply continue.