Building the Lincoln Bridge

Drawing of the single-arch masonry bridge with four cylindrical, crenelated towers.
 

Being the first major improvement since the establishment of the Sulphur Springs Reservation in 1902 and its transformation into Platt National Park in 1906, the completion of the Lincoln Bridge received an in-depth description in Superintendent Albert Greene's monthly report to the Secretary of the Interior for the month of February 1909:

 

As the Department has already been advised, this bridge was completed on the 11th of February and the accounts for the work certified for payment.

In the main the undertaking was completed in a satisfactory manner, and the structure will doubtless stand for ages.

As this is the first permanent improvement in the Park, I may be permitted to refer briefly to its most prominent and picturesque features. The arch, capable of sustaining any weight, spanning the stream; the four turrets at the corners, with battlemented summits, surmounted with metal flag-staffs; the eight electric lights along the parapets; the rugged construction of the stone work, without mark of hammer or stroke of trowel to embellish; the paved roadway leading on the one hand to a great highway congested with travel, and on the other by sodded slopes to shady retreats along the noisy brook, unite to form in symmetrical proportions, a feature of utility and beauty that shall be an object lesson of the stability and dignity of the general government, forever stimulating patriotism and a pride of country. It is not a thing apart - it is as if it had grown there and been made when the rugged banks of the stream and the trees were made.

In the face of the southeast turret is a brass plate with this inscription cast into the surface:-

U. S. A.

JAS. RUDOLPH GARFIELD
Secretary Interior.

-----o-----

Albert R. Greene
Park Sup’t.

Howard V. Hinckley
Designer.

Liberenz &Robison
Builders.

On February 12, 1909, the opening of the bridge was celebrated by a concourse of the citizens of Sulphur and visitors to the Park. The exercises consisted of the singing of patriotic airs, reading of Lincoln's Gettysburg oration by Comrade Harrod of the G. A. R.; and addresses by Mayor Kendall for the Confederate veterans; Rev. Clark on the life and times of Lincoln; and the Superintendent on personal reminiscences of Lincoln as a neighbor and friend. In conclusion Mrs. Lucy M. Bennett: wearing a dress made of materials bought of Lincoln when a storekeeper in Salem, and patterned after the style of that period, climbed to the top of a turret and broke a wine bottle of medicinal water from the Park on the wall, christening the structure "THE LINCOLN BRIDGE".

 

 
Thumbnail image of historic type-written document

Platt National Park Superintendent's Report - February 1909

View the full superintendent's report for February 1909. Includes descriptions of the Lincoln Bridge dedication, visitation and other items of management concern. [428kb PDF]

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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