The Old Steel Bridge of Albany, Oregon

The Old Steel Bridge of Albany, Oregon

The old steel bridge was built in 1893 and dynamited in June of 1926. At the time it was built, it was the longest steel bridge in the state of Oregon. It went from what is now Monteith River Park, across the river, and touched down on a spot where there now stands the North Albany Athletic Club, next to the North Albany Thriftway building.

The large round steel supports of the bridge are still there and hold up power lines. Four hundred tons of steel beams were salvaged from the river after the bridge was destroyed. The bridge was blown up sometime after the completion of the Ellsworth Street Bridge; the big green bridge that is still used today.

From southside looking north A view of the bridge looking to the north if you were standing in what's now Montieth River Park. The bridge support in the middle of the river was widened and lengthened around the base to it would be more sturdy. I don't know if that was before or after the bridge was destroyed. It might have been after; the city might have felt that if the supports were going to be holding up power lines, the most weathered one in the center better be stronger. *shrug*

Man diving into River A man jumping off a platform into the river with the bridge in the background. Photo is circa 1925.

From Bryant Park A view of the bridge from Bryant Park. A peninsula (sp?) with shrubs on it used to stretch out to the bridge support in the middle of the river. This eroded over over the next 20 years due to all the flooding. At the left of the photo, you can see two guys in horse-drawn wagons. The small hut down by the river was a boat house that floated in the Calapooia River.

From Bryant Park, 15 years later The same view of the bridge, only about 15 years later. A cottonwood tree has grown up on the peninsula that stretches out to the bridge support. The peninsula has shrunken slightly too. :p The little boat house is gone. Photo is circa 1920.

Peacock Family on the south end Some of the women of the Peacock Family (yes, same family who lived in the Peacock House) standing at the south end of the bridge. The sign above them reads "Notice $100 fine for any person or persons riding or driving faster than a walk or driving more than 21 head of horses, cattle, or mules or more than 100 head of sheep at one time or driving any stock faster than a walk across this bridge." Photo is circa 1905.

Paddleboat in front of bridge A paddleboat in the river with the bridge in the background. Photo is circa 1909.

View from the north riverbank A view of the bridge from the north side of the river, and up the river a ways. Since the time this photo was taken, lots of cottonwood trees have grown down to edge of the water.

Bridge supports in Monteith River Park As you can see, the bridge supports now hold up electric towers. The pair of supports you see in this photo are the ones farthest south. They stand right in the middle of Monteith River Park. The band stand is visible in the background. If the bandstand wasn't there, you'd be be able to see the whole row of bridge supports.

Present view of steelbridge1.jpg The same view as in steelbridge1.jpg, only this is what it looks like presently. The supports in the middle of the river were lengthened and widened at the base to help prevent the river's wear and tear. A familiar riverfront giant osprey nest is at the top of the tower, and it's been there as far back as I can remember. It's still being used by osprey too! :)