10 February 2015

Strong Bridges Better Neighbors Make

Sometimes we like to take advantage of how we get to where we’re going. Often when we think about bridges we worry more about lanes narrowing, the inconvenience of the bumps if the bridge has connecting segments, and possible wind gusts more so than why there is a bridge there in the first place. The most obvious reason we have to be thankful for bridges save time by creating shortcut over gaps and waterways. Don’t think bridges are that important? Let’s just examine their history at Port Orleans – Riverside.

The history of the Sassagoula River and the communities that cropped up along its banks dates back to around 1835 with the first settlement coming into existence on Ol’ Man Island. Fast forward through the establishment of Boatwright’s, the construction of Acadian House, and the recognition of the Alligator Bayou homesteads and there is a full-fledged population boom in the area. The problem as residents such as Buford Honeyworth and Colonel J.C. saw it, they had a river that could be crossed easily when it was low and slow, but many times the winding Sassagoula kept occupants from obtaining or trading the goods they needed and from socializing with one another.

Still don’t believe the bridges that span the Sassagoula were critical to the success and thriving nature of this riverside town? Just check out the official chronology of the community! The creation of the various bridges take up a whopping forty percent of the notable events!

1835Settlement of Ol’ Man Island
1850Establishment of the Colonel’s Cotton Mill
1853Establishment of Sassagoula Steamboat Company
1855Establishment of Fulton’s General Store
1857Establishment of the Cotton Co-op
1877Establishment of the Boatwright Shop
1883Establishment of the Dixie Landings Bridge
1885Establishment of the Alligator Bayou Bridge
1885Establishment of the Acadian Bridge
1889Establishment of the Oak Manor Bridge

Some of these bridges are only fit for foot traffic, while others were created with the forethought that wagons and other mechanized vehicles would need wider crossings. No matter how you look at it, the bridges of Port Orleans – Riverside not only give guests a great view and a way to get from one point to another quickly, but they also have an incredible backstory!

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