Photo taken by Denise Bartels
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BH Photo #246340
When I was a young boy, Dad (Floyd Theodore Pratt) would take our family down this jungle-like road parallel to the Meramec River. On the right was an opening among the trees as the road disappeared down this STEEP drop. At the bottom of this 15'foot drop off was the beginning of the Hog Trough Bridge.
This two-wheeled wooden if you could call it a bridge, lay our before you in a straight line across this raging roaring river especially a day after it rained. At this point I felt it was not wisdom to try to cross this "bridge" but the road we just descended behind us was so STEEP, it would be impossible to back the car up that incline if a person wanted to change their mind.
As we inched our way onto the bridge, the wooden supports protested by creaking and cracking as if to let us know we were at the bridge's mercy and there was nothing we could do to change our course.
As we slowly drove across the bridge, I looked out the window and could see the water level rushing by equal in height to the wheel wells as the tires moved through the water.
Even at my tender age, I knew crossing this bridge was not wisdom and felt my life and the lives of my family were in peril.
I had heard many stories of people losing their lives in the great Merrimack as the natives used to call it and felt this could be the day.
As we thankfully reached the other side, I was shocked to see cars waiting to get their turn at crossing this nightmare called a bridge.
Years, later I took my own family across this bridge to show them the shear terror I had to endure as a child but, not after a storm nor anytime where the water level was lapping the tires.
For all of you who has nostalgic feelings concerning this bridge, be thankful you are still here to relate your stories. But, as far as I am concerned, I would rather never had the experience than to have to relive the nightmare. Floyd Thomas Pratt F.H.C., M.A.G.I.
Trying to post the picture again.
This picture was taken Apirl 26, 1955 when my parents stopped on a cross country trip. If I remember my father's (in the picture) story correctly, my grandfather (Joseph C. Murphy) helped to build this bridge. It was a WPA project. I remember that my Dad was very proud of the fact that this bridge had withstood so many years and floods.
I was practically raised on the Meramec just on the other side of the Hog Trough Bridge. I have been looking for pictures of the bridge to show my children and grandchildren. When I explain it to them I get the (crazy) look! I took them back to the area a few weeks ago and was amazed at how everything has changed! A picture would sure be great to have. Good and Bad memories from there but that's life on the Hog Trough Bridge I remember!
I remember being a kid and going on vacation with my family to Meramac Caves. That bridge is still the subject of some of my nightmares. What a horrible feeling it is to be on that thing with the water rushing so swiftly by underneath your vehicle that you feel as though you're being swept downstream with it. I'd like to see the bridge again, but I don't wanna cross it! lol