The Friends of Hemlock Gorge

The Friends' Bridge

Volunteer to help restore the Friends' Bridge!

Very near the "Stone Barn" in Hemlock Gorge Reservation is a small stream that leads up to new pond. In the industrial era of the Gorge, this was a holding pond in which water for power was stored for use during dry periods.

At one time there was a 'Z' shaped bridge that spanned this small stream, leading from the foot of the "Devil's Den" cave to the steep embankment on the opposite side of the river. The bridge enabled visitors easy access to some of the most attractive paths in the reservation. We believe that this bridge was constructed during the time that the Reservation was a recreational area called ECHO BRIDGE PARK, well described by Ken Newcomb in his Walking Tour of Hemlock Gorge.

We have a good idea of what that bridge looked like from turn of the century postcard images that have come down to us. Two of those are shown here, the one to the right facing Newton and the lower one taken from the Newton shore.

The Friends' Bridge c. 1900

The Friends Bridge

The Friends of Hemlock Gorge are hoping to reconstruct this bridge in the near future.

The project is being spearheaded by Brian Yates, Hank Lysaght and John Mordes.

We now have measurements of the area, a site plan, and some preliminary design sketches.

Some time ago, the Friends learned of this actual photograph of the Bridge available through the Library of Congress American Memory Archive. The original is at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Click on the photo to view our high resolution version. Click here to see the photo at the Library of Congress site.

The photo was called to our attention by a visitor to our site, Mr. Steve Clark, a descendant of one of the early families of Newton Upper Falls, and we extend our thanks to him.

Photograph of the Friends' Bridge

We invite your comments, your input, and your participation in this community project.

This page last modifiedThursday March 04, 2010

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