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Keystone Bridge gets more noticeable

Published Monday, September 17, 2007 1:13:37 PM Central Time


Globe Staff Writer

RAMSAY -- Visitors having trouble finding the Keystone Bridge will receive a little help.

It's now one of 23 stops on the Western Upper Peninsula's Heritage Trail.

"People were like, 'Where is it?'" Bessemer Township Clerk Debbie Janczak said. "It's kind of hard to find, but it's awesome once you find it."

The signs were added this summer to aid tourists who come to the Gogebic Range looking for the history and scenery.

Two other sites on the trail are the Gogebic County Courthouse in Bessemer and Bond Falls in Paulding.

"It was wonderful to put us on the map," Janczak said.

The township is landscaping the area around the sign. It is across the river from the bridge with a nice view.

"It's amazing how many people take pictures there," township supervisor Jeff Randall said. Wedding parties frequently stop there for photos.

There are few keystone bridges left in the U.S.

The bridge, 57 feet above the Black River, was built by the Chicago and North Western Railway Company in 1891, using limestone.

According to Randall, the bridge was built with a temporary wooden frame in the middle to hold it up during construction. Dirt was then placed around the structure.

There are three arches. Take the top stone out of each arch, the keystone, and the bridge, in theory, falls.

The weight applies pressure on the structure, held in by the dirt. There's no mortar, or glue, to hold it up.

The bridge is used as a snowmobile trail.

People formerly would swim in the river there.

"Back in the old days, it was quite the hangout," Janczak said.

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