Monday, April 30, 2012

Pedersen Park near the falls

The falls of Idaho Falls enthrall us, we spent some time yesterday in Pedersen Park on the other side of the bridge from where we were the day before, the area part of the Idaho Falls Greenbelt. We saw some more great scenes of the falls.

Then we came across a replica of the Taylor Toll Bridge. What became current day Idaho Falls was first the site of Taylor's Crossing on the Montana Trail, a timber frame bridge built across the Snake River in 1865 by Matt Taylor and completed in 1866. The frame of the bridge was constructed while the Snake River was frozen to the point it could support its own weight and then finished when it warmed up. In true pioneer spirit some of the parts used to construct the bridge was salvaged from a wrecked Steamboat. Taylor's Toll Bridge served the new tide of westward migration and improved travel for settlers moving north and west. Some sample tolls set by the Legislature were the same for ferry or bridge; man and horse 50 cents, horse and carriage $3. It is estimated that 19 million tons of freight passed over the bridge in 1867 alone and only up to June since the bridge was damaged by a 3 foot wave of water in June 1867 and rebuilt over the winter.

In 1879 a narrow gauge railroad bridge was built near the toll bridge. In 1885 the drive began to make the bridge free to compete with the railroad so in 1889 it was declared a public highway. This was just in time for the old wooden bridge to be deemed unsafe and a new iron span bridge was built. Eventually more and more freight was delivered on the railroad that the toll bridge fell in disuse and eventually was destroyed. In 1989 another drive was started, this time for a replica bridge to commemorate this historical site and as a remembrance to the pioneers and the pioneer spirit.

Here is how the original bridge looked

Here is the replica bridge today with the current railroad bridge in the background.

Here you can walk across the replica bridge.

There was a path by the river that continued the Idaho Falls Greenbelt that we walked on for awhile and we saw this duck which neither one of us have seen before so we have no idea what kind of duck it is. It was obviously used to humans as it never flew away even with people a lot closer than us. It also seemed to pose for picture taking so we could not resist.

Photos from this adventure have been uploaded to in the Idaho Falls set. Idaho Falls has surprised us in the amount of neat things that there are to do in the area.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

1 comment: