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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • VINTAGE CHICAGO, c. 1950s

Hazard Bridge: 1940

Hazard Bridge: 1940

July 1940. Hazard, Kentucky. "Miners' children crossing swinging bridge from their homes into town." Photo by Marion Post Wolcott. View full size.

 

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A vestige remains

Although the bridge was torn down several years ago, it had a fairly nice stone entranceway, which is still standing on Main Street in Hazard.

Many a trainman walked back and forth across this bridge to the Louisville & Nashville, yards including my grandfather, who was an L&N engineer from the 1920s through the early '50s.

The bridge entrance was directly across from the VFW where many of the workers stayed.

Hazardous duty

My mother worked as a nurse in Hazard just prior to the war. How I'd like to imagine that the white-shoed woman on the bridge is her -- but she seems too tall and thin for my 5-foot mother. But there are plenty of cousins it could be.

She recalled a feud during these years in Hazard, when the hospital staff had to move patients into the halls to keep them safe from people sneaking down the mountainsides and firing through the windows.

Bridge of torment

I bet there was a lot of girls' bonnets thrown off this bridge and other bullying by the mean kids of the area.

Ode to Billie Joe

I can just hear that song when I look at this photo!

Tweezers please!

There must've been many a splinter received on that thing!

Kentucky bridge

I had an aunt in Topmost, near Hazard, that we visited in the summer of 1970, traveling by train and bus. It was a boy's paradise -- she lived near a creek, across a bridge similar to this but probably not as substantial. There were train tracks right next to the yard, she got her drinking water from a well, there were turtles on the road, and at night fireflies and lightning storms. I slept on the porch. To this day it is my fondest childhood memory. I'll have to show my children this picture to explain some of my story of that trip.

Yes they really do swing!

I grew up just one county west of the town of Hazard--walked across plenty of swinging bridges. Some of these bridges had no sides, or were tilted, from years of rain and wind, so that you were walking on a steep slope. In addition many were quite narrow and high, sometimes planks were missing.

To a young child they were part of our life--more scary for the adults. Oh the memories.

Hey, Mister Wilson!

It's Jay North!

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