Putnum County Memorial Bridge
Photo By Dwayne
Photo's by DwayneThe
first concrete bridge
over the St. Johns River was built 1926-1927 just to the south of the
railroad bridge and parallel to it. The river is a mile wide at
this point. There was one span which raised in 2 sections to
allow the boats to come through. A bridge tender was on duty to
open the bridge. A horn on the boat would be blown three
times to alert the bridge tender. Since there was only one
on duty for a shift, that person often would mosey down the street 2
blocks to Angel's Diner for a quick bite to eat and some conversation.
It took time for him to return to the bridge. Often the
boat's horn would sound 2 or 3 times more before the bridge would begin
Photo Found at State Archives Of Florida, Florida Memory Project.
Photo by Herbert Wilson
There were not (and it is still true in 2010) very many bridges across
the St. Johns. Green Cove Springs is the next crossing north and
Hwy 44 near Deland is the one to the south. It was therefore
imperative that this bridge
stay in working order. Sometimes
there were breakdowns. The county jail was just a few miles away
and the prisoners were brought to the bridge to hand crank the bridge
open. They would have to climb down over the side of the bridge
on a metal ladder to get to the area where the mechanism was to do the
On either end of the bridge were bronze statues of service men, an
eagle sitting on top of the world and a plaque with information. The
Memorial Bridge was "Erected to the memory of soldiers and sailors of
Putnam County, Florida".
Photo By Herbert Wilson
Memorial Bridge was replaced with a four-laned hi-rise bridge
alleviating the opening
of the span for tall boats to pass under the bridge and to
additional traffic crossing over to flow more quickly.
The men are
still at the ends of the bridge.
Photo's by Dwayne & Susan
Photo's By Dwayne The markers and eagle/world
statues now grace the entrance to the Historical Museum located west of
the Bronson-Mulholland House.