Heritage Lives In Pictures: Swing Bridge Once Crossed The Two Former Locks In Port Colborne

 By Terry Hughes

In our second effort to present yesteryear and current day locations of interest, we go to Port Colborne and West Street  where a photo was recently taken looking east of the remnants of the old canal. The focus was on a metal ring that served as a bearing to support  the swing bridge that was used to cross the second and third canal lock at this point. Remember, West Street, also known as the Promenade, is directly behind. 

The second photo is from the early 1900’s before the present canal was built. East Street would be behind us before the present canal excavation demolished it. The photographer of the day is looking west with West Street in the background and the bridge filling the picture. Many of the buildings are still there housing many businesses like that fabulous candy shop!

The tunnel on the left was covered when the promenade and small boat dockage was built and was used to regulate the water levels in the older canals. The two structures over which the bridge was built were formerly locks. 

This wooden style of bridge was quite common over the third canal and was operated by placing a T-shaped key through the floor of the bridge that engaged gears turning the span. 

Buggies and early automobiles would have some difficulty passing each other while competing with pedestrian traffic.  

Next Heritage Lives In Pictures:  The Building With The Arches On Niagara Street. 

(Terry Hughes is a Wellander who is passionate about heritage, history and model railroading. His opinion column, Heritage Lives In Pictures, appears on the blog once or twice monthly.)

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