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Some More Covert Tales Retold:
Bridge Stories

Milestones Vol 33 No. 4


Battle of the Bridge

T. Frank Covert also reminds us of the time when boys got into good old-fashioned fisticuffs (fights) and didn't have to worry about being bitten, eyes gouged, or other dirty tactics and, most of all, the police carting them all away and pressing charges.

Now, let's get it clear that this writer doesn't condone such activities. But, I thought it interesting especially when Covert said, "There were no serious casualties." This was the last documented great fight between the boys of Beaver Falls and New Brighton. They were quite common then.

He points out, "There had been a lapse" but when the Tenth Street Bridge was being built in 1890-91, a crowd "from each town met on the uncompleted structure. Big talk, banter, and boasts would lead to hostilities. It went on for a long time with both sides being augmented by fresh arrivals. The neighbors, after seeing bolts, nuts and rivets flying, then called the police."

This has shades of the Monaca-Rochester Bridge rivalry.

The Same Old Bridge

This brings us to the bridge itself. The corporation responsible for building it carefully surveyed where it should end up and then bought the two lots on the New Brighton side. All was going as planned. But, something went wrong.

When the bridge was finished it came in two lots and the old canal bed north of what was purchased from a James Patterson. Covert adds in a January 3, 1928 column that "The bridge, as it exists today, has been built over a canal bridge and onto lots that have never been acquired. It has never been resolved."

Of course it has been resolved today since the bridge was demolished a few years ago.