Last week we visited the historic Stillwater Lift Bridge between Minnesota and Wisconsin. This bridge was built in 1931 and was closed to traffic in 2017 when the new river crossing bridge opened. In 2020, it reopened as a pedestrian/bicycle bridge.
When mom was a kid, she used to go to Stillwater a couple times a year with her great aunt. She remembers the bridge and walking along the St. Croix River back then. You may remember, Mom has documented her life with photos since she was seven when she had her first camera with things called film and flashcubes. Lucky for us, she has a closet full of albums from the days of “film”. When writing this post she told me she had a photo of the bridge from 1977, and what do you know, she does have one. We scanned it in for you. The dark figures are her great aunt and her brother sitting on a bench. Mom really has photos of everything!
Now in 2021, we have a similar view from a bit further down the river. The bridge is made of seven fixed steel trusses spanning one thousand fifty feet, which included the vertical lifting span of one hundred forty feet. Waddell & Harrington is the type of lifting span, and is one of only six built in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Only three are still standing today, including the one in Stillwater, and it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
As we mentioned, the Stillwater Lift Bridge is now for people and bikes, no more cars. Each side is for walkers or runners, the middle is for bikers. There weren’t many bikes the day we were there, so people were walking in the bike lane too. The bridge is now the final piece to the 4.7 mile St. Croix River Crossing Loop Trail which takes people through the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides of the river.
Downtown in the historic town of Stillwater one of the buildings has a nice mural of the bridge from the olden days. The tight space where the mural is makes it hard to get enough room for a full photo, thus we are missing some the sides. Back in 1931 when the bridge was new it must have been quite an amazing thing to see!
We are lucky to see so many pretty fall colored leaves on the banks of the St. Croix. Fall is really in the air and leaves are turning and falling fast around here this week! Down by the bridge there are lots of people, but once you walk away from that area, you have things all to yourself. The funniest thing about our short trip is that we were like celebrities. At least a dozen people asked Mom what breed we are, everyone said how cute we are, it was absolutely crazy! We love being the center of attention, but it was almost too much!
Our last stop was this old trolley car. Stillwater still has trolley cars for tourists but they drive on the road, not on the tracks. Mom had us get on board and then she snapped this photo. Yes, several people saw us posing and started going wild about how adorable we are and they could not believe how well we can pose. It sure was a fun little outing on a beautiful fall day! All Aboard!
We are joining our friends at Living Laughing and Barking in Our Backyard is for their Nature Friday blog hop.