Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eagle Bridge Westfort

Leaving my car at Midway Alignment on Gore St, I decided to stroll around Westfort, but then saw the Eagle Bridge that crosses over the train tracks, at the end of Brown St., so I decided to walk over it instead, knowing not where it leads.

Looking east, a myriad of tracks and trains in the foreground of the Fort William Elevator Company. West Fort, earlier known as Fort William Town Plot was selected by the Dominion of Canada to be the site where a railway to the Pacific would be located. When the building of the railroad began in 1875 (did the colonial fathers bring Chinese indentured labour here, too?) West Fort became the eastern terminus of the Canadian Pacific Railways.

Looking west, the Place where Thunder Birds Nest, aka Mt.McKay.

A plate bolted to the bridge announces it as Eagle Bridge. Is this a new name? I'm not sure. A man who lives on the other side of the bridge told me he was surprised to see me walking over it, to see someone using it. He was tinkering in front of his house/shop with a log cutting machine that he had made which was For Sale. He had cut a beautiful large beam of poplar. He said I was like the 3rd person he's seen on the bridge since it was re-built about a year and a half ago. Before that there was an old wooden bridge, 150 years old, he said, that was used by the men who worked at the elevator. They would get off the street car at the end of the line and then walk over the bridge to work. That elevator is still in use, the man told me when I said it looks abandoned, like a derelict, but the street car is gone, so too most jobs. I can't imagine why the bridge was rebuilt. It goes nowhere really. When you descend off of it, signs all over the place announce: No Trespassing. Perhaps it helps the residents of

make a shortcut to Westfort Village? But as most folks these days use cars and not feet to get places, I wonder....

It's an interesting street. I saw the oldest and largest poplar I have ever seen in Thunder Bay in a lot beside someone's house. You can't tell from this photo but the tree must be at least 200 years old. Compared to most poplars around, this tree's base is huge, elephantine to the slender deer-like stalks of other poplars. The sound of its hundreds of leaves quivering in the wind was like the whirring and shaking of an immense shaman's rattle, a thunder rattle building up whirlwinds of energy.

Lots of car parts and body parts and machine shops on the street. This whole area has been a machine shop area since the Dominion of Canada was instituted.

An old outhouse still standing, and a pile of wood. Maybe it's used for storage now?

Back up the stairs of Eagle Bridge.


Anonymous said...

I was first on this bridge when they opened it and have photos on Flickr of that day. The Eagle Bridge emblem is the manufacturing company. There is the same emblem on the Neebing McIntyre floodway walk bridge on Ford St.

Curt said...