Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Farmers Demand a Bridge at E. 31st Street – January 1910

January 25, 1910 Lorain Daily News
When you think of Lorain bridges over the Black River, it’s easy to focus on the Bascule Bridge and the 21st Street Bridge, and overlook the one out in South Lorain.

When and why was the bridge built in South Lorain?

In January 1910, the farmers of Avon and Sheffield were demanding a bridge be built at E. 31st Street that would provide them better access to the steel plant district market. Without a decent bridge to allow them to sell their goods in South Lorain, the farmers instead had been transporting their produce to Cleveland.

The article on the front page of the January 25, 1910 Lorain Daily News (above) tells the story.

The road leading to the existing bridge crossing the Black River were often impassible. As described in Bicentennial History of Sheffield, Ohio 1815 - 2015 by Charles E. Herdendorf, “The road leading to and from the bridge was unpaved and climbed steep banks of the Black River on both sides of the bridge.

“As early as 1904, the local newspapers mention the needs for a new bridge and by 1906 farmers and merchants from South Lorain and Sheffield began to express their desire for a high-level bridge to the Lorain County Commissioners.”

A county bond issue to build the bridge was put before the voters. Despite some opposition by the southern parts of the county, it passed.

The viaduct-style bridge opened in 1913; it lasted 64 years before it was replaced by a more modern concrete structure in 1977.

The new bridge at E. 31st Street
(Courtesy of "Bicentennial History of Sheffield, Ohio 1815 - 2015")


Anonymous said...

Do you mean "1913"?

Dan Brady said...

I sure do – thanks for catching that! It's fixed!