History From America's Most Famous Valleys
Frontiersmen of New York
by Jeptha R. Simms
Albany, NY 1883
Volume I, Page 385.
The Schenedtada Bridge.--April 4, 1800, the Legislature chartered the "Mohawk and Bridge Company," Peter -Smith, Gaylord Griswold, Charles Newkirk, Jacob C. Cuyler, James Murdock and John C. Cuyler being named in the act as it commissioners. The same act made provision for the erection of a bridge at Schenectada: which was built by Theodore Burr, tile celebrated bridge builder already named. It was an elliptie or arched bridge, and was begun in the summer of 1804. It was constructed in two arches resting on one pier in the middle of the river, and was not completed, when, on the night of February 13, 1805, it fell with a terrific crash. False bents were yet under it, when a freshet raised them and the wind blew the bridge down. It fell upon the ice about midnight with a noise which many mistook for thunder. Most of the timber was recovered in a damaged condition. In the same season and soon after this misfortune befell the bridge, by an act of the Legislature it was given a separate interest from that of the Turnpike Company pro rata, to be known as the Mohawk Bridge Company. In 1806, the number of the Mohawk turnpike's directors was reduced to seven. As the Schenectada bridge had not yet been completed,, an act was passed extending the time of its completion to 1810. Burr also erected this bridge, resting it on seven piers, and he used coffer-dams to bed them. Its wood-work was demolished in 1874.
While this bridge was building, this incident occurred, After the string pieces had been laid, and before they were planked, a young son of the contractor walked unobserved over the middle of the stream, A workman discovering the urchin upon the timbers, directed the attention of the father that way. With feelings of deepest anxiety he beheld his darling boy in a position from which a misstep would inevitably launch him into eternity. Prudence dictated silence, and after the little fellow had surveyed the premises to his satisfaction, he returned to the shore, to the great relief of his agitated parent, who gave him a good basting for his juvenile curiosity.
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