Monday, October 17, 2022

West Michigan Covered Bridges in Fall ~ October 13, 2022

The 125-foot Ada Covered Bridge spans the Thornapple River and was originally built in 1867 by William Holmes. It closed to vehicle traffic in 1930 and became a pedestrian bridge. In 1979 it was destroyed by fire and this replica bridge was completed in 1980.

The Fallasburg Covered Bridge is 100 feet long and spans the Flat River. Originally built in 1871 by Jared N. Bresee, the bridge is still open to vehicle traffic.
Repairs and modifications have been made over the years to maintain the structure (in 2013 the bridge was damaged when a cement truck drove on it). Of the three bridges visited today, this is the only one that can claim to be original.

Whites Bridge is 120 feet long, also spans the Flat River, and was built in 1867 by Jared N. Bresee (spelled here as Brazee) and J.N. Walker.
In 2010, a person drove through the side of the bridge (I took this photo in 2012).
And in 2013, the bridge was completely destroyed by fire. It took years for it to get rebuilt but this replica bridge finally opened in 2020.
All three bridges were built with the truss system patented by Josiah Brown and are known as Brown Truss bridges. Happy Fall, y'all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The Tridge, Midland MI

You will find one of the coolest bridges ever in downtown Midland.  The three-way arch wooden foot bridge spans the confluence of the Chippewa and Tittabawasee Rivers. It opened in 1981 and its total length is 541 feet.
This couple views the bridge from an adjacent park.
At the end of one of the other spans is another park with a sculpture depicting a family heading for a swim but the woman is in a slip?
Nonetheless, the bridge is the draw and it needs to be explored and appreciated from all angles.
In 2020, when two nearby dams failed, Midland was flooded and these are photos (from the internet) of the flooding at the Tridge (you can see the couple sculpture surrounded by water).
Here are two maps for the Tridge location.
It's worth a stop!

21 Seconds from the Center of the Tridge


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Grand Haven State Park ~ 1/25/22

There is some serious ice at the pier right now and we had to see it 😊
Since last year, the town has installed a gate on the pier to prevent people from walking on it in dangerous conditions so we didn't get far (unlike these folks 😉).
We then drove around to the other side of the channel, slipped on some more ice, and called it a day, a beautiful winter day.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

International Memorial to the Underground Railroad, Detroit MI ~ September 2021

Installed in 2001 on the Detroit River, the Gateway to Freedom sculpture was created by Ed Dwight and stands 10 x 12 feet. It depicts eight escaping slaves guided by a conductor, modeled after George DeBaptiste. George was born free in Virginia to African-American parents and as an adult moved to Indiana and helped bring escaping slaves to Kentucky. Later he moved to Detroit and assisted freedom seekers across the river to Canada (his life story is fascinating, fyi).
Historians estimate that about 45,000 escaping slaves passed through Detroit on their way to Canada, Detroit serving as one of the last terminals of the Underground Railroad.
There is a companion sculpture (Tower of Freedom) across the river in Windsor, Canada, also by Ed Dwight, that we haven't had the pleasure of visiting yet.
(Besides being a well-known sculptor, Dwight was an air force jet pilot in 1962 when President Kennedy nominated him as an astronaut trainee. Dwight would have been the first African-American astronaut. After Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, NASA dropped Dwight from the program.)
Ed Dwight has two other well-known sculptures in Michigan: Rosa Parks in Grand Rapids and an  Underground Railroad sculpture in Battle Creek.
Battle Creek
Today it's more important than ever to remember our history.
(See the link below for photos and information on the largest Underground Railroad Sculpture in the U.S.)