Historical High Bridge North of Baldwin


Ed Hawks, a regular reader here at Big Bass Lake and Beyond, first introduced me to this “High Bridge” with a picture postcard of a train running over it. It was constructed in 1889 and demolished in 1955. The total length of the bridge was 1,710 feet. When built, it was the highest rail bridge in Michigan hence it’s name. Wooden bridge replaced in 1947 with Steel structure. Piers are still visible. At one time only bridge nearby so it was used by locals to walk across.

The Manistee River is the historical home of the largest bridge project in Michigan (at least until the Big Bridge across the Straits of Mackinaw). Called High Bridge, the railroad bridge stood 78 feet above the water line outside of Brethren. Unfortunately, very little publicity was given to its construction, because of a disagreement with the news media. The railroad was originally supposed to cross the river much closer to town. And the newspapers thought it was going to be wonderful. But when the plans came through that the bridge was going to built 20 miles out of town, the paper largely ignored it.

From below on the Manistee River it must have been a sight to behold as boats passed underneath it. If anyone has more information about this bridge feel free to leave us a comment.

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