Juniata Lewistown Bridge Postcard
BH Photo #261291
History of the crossing from: http://www.pagenweb.org/~mifflin/ellis/ellis-4.htm
A town-meeting was held at Lewistown, December 7, 1836, to consider the idea of building a bridge over the Juniata River. The agitation caused by this meeting brought forth fruit in the presentation of a petition to the Legislature in the session of 1837-38, and on the 4th of April, 1838, the Lewistown and Tuscarora Bridge Company was incorporated. The commissioners appointed to receive subscriptions and superintend the erection were John Norris, James Milliken, David Cummings, James Parker, Finley Ellis, Abraham S. Wilson, James Dickson, Samuel Comfort, William Reed, William Mayes, Samuel Alexander and Henry Hall. The shares were limited to five hundred, at twenty dollars per share. Subscriptions were made, and on August 7, 1840, the commissioners of the county subscribed for one hundred shares of the stock. The bridge was not completed for several years, but was in process of erection by William Shimp in the year 1847. On Friday, the 8th, and Saturday, the 9th of October, in that year, the greatest flood since 1810 occurred in the Juniata and Kishacoquillas Creek, and the first span of the bridge was carried away. The stone bridge over the Kishacoquillas was entirely submerged and the buildings beyond it were filled to the second story. The water reached thirty-one feet above low-water mark. From this time the bridge was pushed to completion, and in 1849 was in use and opened as a toll bridge. It was used exclusively as a road bridge until about 1865, when the Pennsylvania Railroad wished to form a connection with the Sunbury and Lewistown Railroad, and privilege was obtained to lay a track across the bridge and use it for the passage of trains. It was used as a railroad and toll bridge until July 4, 1874, when a high wind blew it down. In the mean time the railroad company had purchased a controlling interest in the stock of the company. The bridge was immediately rebuilt and the toll feature was abandoned.
Before the destruction of the railroad and toll bridge there seemed to he a necessity for another bridge across the Juniata River, as accidents had occurred several times on the Water Street bridge. An appeal was made to the county for assistance, and on April 15, 1874, the commissioners made a contract with D. H. & C. C. Morrison to build an iron bridge across the Juniata at the foot of Market Street for twenty-two thousand dollars, and with William G. Stahl for the mason-work for nine thousand nine hundred and eighty-seven dollars. The bridge was built in that year and used a little over a year, when it fell, having an insecure foundation. The commissioners advertised for proposals to rebuild the bridge June 30, 1876, and let the contract to the King Bridge Company for fourteen thousand three hundred dollars, the bridge to be completed in November of that year. It was completed at the time specified, and has since done good service.