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BH Photo #292387
the Maxwell wooden bridge here was opened to the public on October 13, 1873 per the Knoxville Daily Press & Herald newspaper
The sketch shown here is of the wood superstructure bridge using eight piers that was completed in 1873 and was blown down by a strong wind on May 1, 1875. It was followed by the Saulpaw wooden Howe Truss Bridge opened in February of 1881. It remained in place until the current steel structure was opened circa 1897.
This is NOT the bridge built by the Federal Troops and civilians early in 1864 to support the forts south of the river. It had many piers and was so low that steamboats could not pass when the river was high. When the county took control of it, they put a draw in it to solve this commerce problem.
The first public bridge across the river at Knoxville was constructed in 1864 by the Federal troops and civilians after the siege of Knoxville was abandoned by General Longstreet, CSA. That bridge was destroyed by the worst flood ever seen at Knoxville in March of 1867.