I was there the night they tore it down and it was sad to see it go! I have a small memento of the bridge as a keep sake. I must say the new bridge just isn't the same and doesn't grace the Black river like the old one!
I worked on this bridge in the summer of 1965 replacing the original wooden deck on the bridge and the wooden beams that supported the deck on the approaches on each end of the main steel structure. We poured the concrete deck down the center and replaced wood decking on the side of it. If you look closely at the photos you can see what I am describing. This was one of the first jobs I had after I graduated from high school in Lesterville in 1964. This is a part of history that I miss.
For my wife someday, I would like to rebuild an exact replica, in the exact same place. My father in law told me that people who write down their goals have a better chance of attaining them. So, here it is, wish me luck!
As a kid we would have dad drive us to the bridge to look at the black river and the rock garden below. Mom would always come but did not necessarily like driving over the bridge. This was 35 years ago. The new bridge is a nicely constructed bridge. However, removing the old bridge took a little history away from Lesterville and Reynolds county. What a shame.
Thank you for these photos. I made one of them the background for my computer at work. Now when I need an escape, I can zone out to this photo. Oh! the bridge holds so many memories for me because of my summers spent at Black River Lodge...
My favorite memory is sitting on the bridge at night with my friends (or a boy!) and gazing at the stars. It truly was "the red bridge that connected life to a fairy tale"
How sad it was to see it go!
My grandparents, Anna and Home St. Clair lived east of Lesterville and she worked at Black River Lodge, so I've been over this bridge many times as a child . What's neat is that I have a picture of my three oldest chidlren on this bridge, circa 1970s. Thanks for the website and preserving this bit of history.
Thanks so much for the wonderful photos and information about the old bridge over the Black River. I remember as a small boy going with my family, Art and Babe Geders of Manchester,MO. and my godparents, Bernard and Neoma McManus also of Manchester,MO. to the Black River Lodge almost every year in the late 1950's and early 1960's for a vacation. What a wonderful place to have fun and relax in! I will never forget the sound the old bridge made when you drove over it to get to the lodge or the sound that was made by the hay-wagon on those neat hayrides. I also remember fishing with my Dad and Godfather below the bridge and listening to the awesome sounds it emulated when something drove over it.Those were wonderful, peaceful days and times, I only wish we still had them to this day. I will miss the Old Bridge and hope to drive there soon to just reminisce the "Good Ol Days" gone by. Times like that will never be had again.
Thanks loads for the bridge pics. This bridge became a part of mine & my family's lives every July since 1961. There were a lot of keepsake memories that happened on that bridge that I'll always remember. Too bad is wasn't preserved somehow. I have recently driven over a few Missouri bridges that are in much worse shape, but are still being utilized. Sure doesn't make much sense?????
Thank you for these great pictures. I've travelled across this bridge every summer since 1981. It holds many memories of slower, easy summer days of childhood for me. I'm sorry we lost this piece of history.
Thank you so much for this pictorial history of the Hunts Bridge at Black River Lodge, Lesterville. I first crossed this bridge as a youngster. Our family clubhouse is south on Peola Road. This bridge has many memories from the 60's to the present. I think the Reynolds County Commission should have preserved this bridge for foot traffic only. What a tragic loss for a piece of history. Thanks again for these great pictures.
I crossed this bridge many times between May of 94 and April of 99. I was the first RPS (Roadway Package System-now known as Fed Ex Ground) driver to the Reynolds County area.
My 3 main memories of the bridge: 1(going across slowly as not to sway the bridge, looked in my rear view mirror, was a heavy van on the bridge with me, kicked the accelerator pedal of my RPS van to get off of the bridge.
2( coming around the curve from the eastbound approach, saw an emergency vehicle with lights flashing coming on the westbound approach, yielded right of way.
3( After a heavy rainstorm, when the Black River was flooded, had a package for one of the businesses along Peola Road, told my terminal manager, that there was no way I was going across that bridge with the river that high, left the package in Lesterville at Elmer Winingar's station.
Rob Davidson firstname.lastname@example.org