Greetings and a good
As you can see, the old
Rockport Railroad Bridge is featured in this stat. I have
an hour or so to kill and thought that I would try to place some
words together to form another story or "History Event" concerning
this old bridge. While the event is not of much importance to
but a few, it may bring back memories of a childhood in which we
played a part in growing up in this small town or for others, a
similar place and a similar bridge....
This story concerns a young
girl that never lived long enough to become a mother, but her short
history was used by many a parent to caution their children on the
dangers of this old bridge and of the Green River. Please be
advised that some parts of this story will be unpleasant. Will
try to keep the "Gore" to a minimum.
This bridge was something to
marvel at during the earlier parts of the Twentieth Century.
The "River Crossing" consisted of two bridge sections that rested on
three piers. The center pier or "Middle Pier" supported the
two different sections in the middle of the river. Building a
bridge across a river in those earlier days was a feat in
itself. To build one that would support a train was an
added bonus. Now, to have a section that would rise off the
pier and become almost vertical was some feat of engineering.
This lifting of the bridge was necessary in order for river traffic
to be able to pass under the bridge.
I realize that most of you know
the method and the means of lifting this bridge section off the pier
and out of the way so as to not impede river traffic. A few
others may not know how it is possible and for those, I will present
a short version of "Bridge Lifting", course
Looking at the picture, it is
difficult to pick out just how the bridge section is connected to
the pier. If you will look closely, there seems to be a
lighter or gray colored section on the upstream side of the
pier. This is a large hinge and another one is located on the
other side. It works just like a door hinge. One part of
the hinge is connected to the pier and the other one connected to
the bridge. Now, if enough power was available, the bridge
section could be "Opened and Closed' and in this case, "Raised and
If you will look at the picture
again, you will notice a large structure just above and to the left
of the pier. A part of that structure is hidden
from the trees. There is also a little shelter located near
the center of this structure. This structure is basically a
counterweight. Now, with a relatively small electric motor and
using the forces of gravity, it does not take much power to raise
and lower the bridge section. To the left and below the little
shelter is a massive concrete section. This concrete block is
basically the "Counter Weight" with the steel part of the structure
holding it in place. This concrete block is massive and about
as large as four or five full size trucks placed
together. Grating, steps and handrails are used for safe
access to the shelter. Have told more that I need, if this
story is going to be about a young girl, but felt that some idea of
the concrete block was needed.
With all of that said,
this part of the bridge would be an ideal place for a
young person to explore. A daytime view, as well as a
nighttime view would be worth the climb. Most youngsters think
they are indestructible and will not be concerned about the dangers
of the explorations of this old bridge.
Many years ago three young
people, a female and two males, made such a trip to the
bridge. The young girl was a teenager from Greenville and was
visiting a female friend in Rockport. She ended up exploring
the bridge with two teenage boys. They were above the concrete
structure, taking in the night view of the area when the girl
slipped and fell to the concrete structure. She probably never
took another breath after hitting the concrete. Another couple
nearby heard the commotion and rushed to the scene. Nothing
could be done and a young teenager was gone forever. Many
parents have told this story to their children and thus, they
knew the dangers of this old bridge. I am sure that all of us
were affected. It did not prevent up from climbing on, in and
around the bridge, but did cause some thought when we were doing
This event in history was a
little before my time. I would place a date in the early to
mid thirties. The story has been "Handed Down" from
generation to generation. I am sure that bits and pieces have
been added to make the event more scary and/or to stress to children
the dangers of exploring the bridge.
One such "Bit" concerns a
scream emanating from the concrete section of the bridge. I
have been told that if you will visit the bridge at midnight
and be quiet, you will hear a scream. This "Scream"
occurs every night in some tales and only on Friday nights in other
versions. The fatal fall happened before midnight on a Friday
night. I have never heard the scream, but I have not been
on the bridge at midnight. I have been there in late evening
and been there in early morning, but never at midnight. The
story from my parents may have worked.
Another such "Bit'
concerns an area on the concrete structure where you can
see something that could resemble the internals of the girl's
head. Most of the young boys of Rockport have climbed the
structure and observed this spot. A young man's imagination
may lead them to believe that no amount of erosion from wind and
rain could remove the blood and brains from the concrete.
Whether it is blood and brains, I don't know. At the time that
I witnessed it, I walked away thinking that it was from the
girl. Mildew, mold, and especially moss will tend to grow on
such places, but I don't want to analyze this phenomenon and take
away from the story as it was told to me.
If you are still reading this,
I want to thank you. Again, if you see something that you know
to be untrue, please feel free to let me know. Also, I would
appreciate pertinent information that I may have left untold.
A story told some fifty-five years ago may have some added
items and there may be some items left out. Irregardless, I
have only jotted down what I can remember and I make no claim
that all written
Stationery by jrd
The Two Love Birds Pictured Are Not Identified.
I Will Leave That To The Reader. Have Any Idea?.
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