Monday, April 18, 2016

Hobart Then and Now: Nickel Plate Bridge

Ca. 1906, and 2016:

2016-4-18. Bridge 001
2016-4-18. Nickel Plate bridge 2016
(Click on images to enlarge)

Thank goodness the sender wrote those identifying notes — I would never have recognized the first photo as Hobart. Even with the notes, I have to take her word for it. The best I can say is that I don't see anything in the 1906 photo that would rule out Hobart. (And you can see a smokestack about where you would expect the brickyards to be.) The bridge looks like a railroad bridge, as opposed to the Third Street bridge, so I'm guessing Nickel Plate, and that assumption fits with the view of the buildings that make up downtown; also, there's a water tower on the opposite side of the river, which would be needed by steam engines.

You cannot stand where the circa-1906 photographer stood and get anything remotely resembling that photo. The riverbank is steeper now and heavily overgrown, and the Norfolk Southern bridge has become a massive earth-and-cement structure that constricts the river and blocks your view of the town. I had to stand up higher, nearer to the tracks.

Here's the verso, with the 1906 postmark.

2016-4-18. Bridge 002

I have no idea who any of these people were.

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