Bridge Difficulties at St. Helena

February 22, 1884, the river bridge succumbed to the ice and high water at St. Helena. Up until that time the structure had been of wood but now the public wanted a bridge of more substantial structure and proposed iron for the work. By July, 1884, it was agreed that a bridge should be built and the cost shared equally by Wyoming and Livingston counties, since the river was the boundary line between the two.

The Castilian of September 14, 1884, states that “The supervisors and highway commissioners of Mt. Morris and Castile met at Perry to discuss building a new bridge at St. Helena. The Livingston County officials seemed to think that ‘crossing in the mud and water was good enough for travelers’ and refused to agree to any reasonable ideas in the matter. Castile’s official suggestions were enterprising, judicious and wise.”

For nearly two years the subject was argued. During April, 1885, the bridge matter was tried in Geneseo before Hon. J. H. Stevens of Livingston County. The bridge was finally built and it served until 1904, when it was swept away by ice. It was rebuilt and repaired after the piers had been raised about four feet, leaving more room for ice cakes to pass under it.

The Nunda News of August 1, 1885, printed this item:

“FUN AT ST. HELENA — Now that an iron bridge is to be built over the Genesee River at St. Helena, it is proposed to have a little fun when it is completed, judging from the following which has been sent in for publication:

“A grand banquet is announced to be given by the ladies of St. Helena, on the completion of the iron bridge at that place. At the banquet table toasts will be given and responded to as follows:

Frederick Marsh, Toastmaster

“Our Beautiful Hills, ” Response by Mr. Fred M. Mills, of Mt. Morris

“Our Public Roads and Bridges,” Response by Mr. Nicholas Alpaugh, of Castile

“Cubic Measure,” Response by Mr. Reuben J. Smith, Civil Engineer, Rochester

“Transportation,” Response by O. F. Tabor, Esq., of Castile

“Hydraulics and Hvdrostatics,” Response by Mr. Harry B. Gleason, Architect, Rochester

“Our Finances,” Response by Thomas J. Gamble, Esq., of Mt. Morris

“Economy,” Response by E. C. Olney, Esq., of Nunda

“The Iron King,” Response by Mr. Henry G. Claystone, Cleveland, Ohio

“The Ladies,” Response by Walter M. Gledhill, Esq., of Castile

The entertainment will conclude with a moonlight promenade on the bridge.

“By Order of Committee”

Source: Anderson, Mildred L. H, and Marian P. Willey. St. Helena, Ghost Town of the Genesee, 1797-1954. Castile, N.Y, 1954. Print.

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