Photos taken July 1987 by Martin Stupich for the Historic American Engineering Record
BH Photo #109017
These bridges are part of an old road... The first Hwy 93, so to speak. They crossed lowlands. There was a larger channel of the Black River that had no bridge, but a ferry run by Alexander McGilvray, a Scotsman who ran the ferry for about 40 years. The road became known as McGilvray Road. Another popular name for the road is "Seven Bridges Road"... although there are only 6 bridges now.
The 7th bridge replaced the ferry, but in 1954 its life as a highway bridge ended. The longer span was removed and the 6 remaining bridges were for local access to farms, hunting and fishing. The Wisconsin DNR acquired land from farmers and the area became Van Loon Wildlife Area... 4000 acres.
The 5th bridge had to be destroyed because it was dangerous. It was a wooden king post bridge. Then there was a threat to the other bridges because the DNR did not have money to maintain bridges. The Friends of McGilvray Road formed in 1989 as friends group with the DNR. The group raised a lot of money, then spent it on extensive repairs.The state provided money also. We purchased another old highway bridge from Pierce Cty Wisconsin and moved it in to the bridge #5 position, completing a walking trail.
visit www.7bridgesrd.org to see more modern and more detailed pictures.
WHO WAS THIS BRIDGE NAMED AFTER??? WHY WAS IT NAMED MCGILVARY BRIDGE???
THANKS COLLEEN MCGILLIVRAY ROONEY MONTROY