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Glendive Swing Bridge (Destroyed in 1899)


Glendive Bridge


Photo taken by Douglas Butler in November 2018

License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)


BH Photo #438745


Lost Parker through truss through truss bridge over Yellowstone River on Road
Glendive, Dawson County, Montana
Destroyed by flooding
Built 1895; Sections destroyed by flooding 1899; Replaced 1900
- King Bridge Co. of Cleveland, Ohio
Parker through truss
Approximate latitude, longitude
+47.10732, -104.71844   (decimal degrees)
47°06'26" N, 104°43'06" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
13/521363/5217128 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Inventory number
BH 73345 (Bridgehunter.com ID)


19th Century (8,332)
Built 1895 (290)
Built during 1890s (3,189)
Dawson County, Montana (9)
Destroyed by flood (597)
Glendive, Montana (5)
King Bridge Co. (435)
Lost (28,402)
Lost 1900 (24)
Lost during 1900s (384)
Montana (843)
Movable (3,114)
Owned by city (6,078)
Parker through truss (1,406)
Parker truss (1,801)
Swing (1,561)
Through truss (16,729)
Truss (35,396)

Update Log 

  • August 8, 2021: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • November 21, 2018: New photo from Douglas Butler
  • August 24, 2016: Updated by Luke: Added

Related Bridges 



Glendive Swing Bridge
Posted August 8, 2021, by Philip Hobday (hobdaz [at] yahoo [dot] com)

I have a photo of this original swing bridge in Glendive, Mt. taken by my great grandfather, Elmer Seth Herrick, who lived in Glendive for decades. He proposed to my great grandmother on this bridge on Feb. 14th, 1899, months before the massive ice flow that destroyed it on the night of Apr. 7th, 1899. I see that the current photo is of a hand drawn sketch of the bridge.

I will attempt to attach the photo I have and an excerpt from my great grandfather’s memoirs.

E.S. Herrick -

“About the fourteenth day of February, we reached our understanding down on the first bridge that was built across the Yellowstone. The next few evenings we devoted to planning a house, a four roomed affair with a lean-to kitchen, porch back and front, “I had plenty of buildings for men and help.” I left in a few days to start arrangements, get up some teams to haul out the building material, a carpenter to help build and a lot of things. It was supposed to be ready by July 19th and there could be no postponing things of this nature. 94 I started building--dug a cellar and made arrangements to get out building material. Some one came along on April 8th, and said the river had gorged at Glendive last night, took out the bridge and drowned a lot of people. A got a saddle horse and hit the high places for town, there was certainly a mess. Ice piled ten feet high all along the river banks, in some places half a mile back from the river—the bridge was gone, one span was still there, but both ends were gone. The Sullivan family of eight, were all drowned, they lived near the north end of the bridge. The bark on cottonwood trees shows now, over fifty years later, where the ice knocked against the trees, ten feet above the ground. To me, who was chiefly interested in getting a house built for my bride-- with all the building materials on the wrong side of the river and a forty mile haul, and to have the home complete by July 1st —it was the toughest proposition I had ever been up against. When Eloise and I met, and talked the situation over, she solved it by saying, “we will have to live in the bunk house or set up a tent until you can get the house built.” This certainly relieved my mind and gave me a new lease on life. I wonder what one of our daughters would have said under the same circumstances--my guess would be, “We will have to say with Dad until the house is built.” The ice soon melted and a road was cleared, the old ferry boat put in commission and the flood excitement subsided.”