Sepia Saturday - A Bridge Named After a Rock That Was Claimed for a King

Okay I know what you're saying; "this guy has an obsession  with bridges." Well that is pretty much the truth. I find them fascinating. They are works of art that function. Some span small rivers some large rivers. All are carrying busy people over hazardous water. Some are quaint  like covered bridges. Some are scary like suspension bridges. Some make u feel like you are flying or floating. And some bridges are simply spectacular like the French King Bridge below.


Click any pic to magnify
The bridge was built in 1932 and is a three arch span. It was part of a new highway replacing part of the old Mohawk Trail which wound through several small villages.


As that lengthy title goes, the French King Bridge  was named for a rock that sits just upstream. At times this rock is underwater but mostly it is exposed. Although, it's not as exposed as u see in the lower back&white postcard. The reason for the water fluctuation is from a dam not to far down river the produces electricity. The postcard photo shows rapids where the rock is located but I have never seen the water level that low. The rock also serves as a survey point as the borders of three towns. Gill, Erving and Northfield converge here.


Many legends have grown up telling how the Rock got its title from which the French King Highway and Bridge was named. A party of Indians under command of a French Officer came down the Connecticut River on a scouting expediton. They reached the Rock which was at the beginning of a dangerous rapid. Just at nightfall, nor caring to attempt the rapids at dark they camped on the west bank of the stream. The commanding officer was much impressed by the rock. It was the most conspicuous object he had encountered on the expedition, for at that time it stood probably eighteen feet out of water. Thinking it would be a good point of reference not only for his reports, but also for future explorations he decided to take formal possession of it in the name of the French King, Louis the XIV.
Photo: CrazyasaCoolFox


This is something I never knew about local New England history. The French flag once flew here in Massachusetts.
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