We've always been fascinated by High Bridge in Kentucky. Built in 1876 to connect trains between Lexington and Danville, the bridge stands nearly 300 feet tall and was the first cantilever bridge built in the United States. Given that it had to span the Kentucky River near the height of the palisades, it was constructed with a long three-span under-deck truss after a failed suspension design by John Roebling, who had built the Brooklyn Bridge.
When it opened in 1879, it was such a big event that President Rutherford B. Hayes and Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman even attended! Here are some early photos and more about its history.
A rare photo of the bridge under construction. It would end up being 1,125 feet long!
We love this photo from the KY Digital Collections. Notice all of the lumber on the edge of the river.
And here's a view from 1898.
This 1902 photo shows an elevated view of the bridge and a bunch of 'lumber barges' ready to be floated down the river.
A view from the Old Wilderness Road of the steamer "Falls City" in 1907.
And here's a postcard produced by the Detroit Publishing Company based on that photo.
In 1911, designer Gustav Lindenthal worked to expand the bridge around the existing structure, shown in this photo.
Here's a close-up view of the construction.
And here's a view of the expanded bridge from 1911. Note the people walking along the tracks!
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