Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sidney, Ohio Part III

Roman Aqueduct in Trier, Germany
My father, Leo was the second youngest child of a family of twelve children. He left home when he was just fourteen years old to earn his own living. When my father was about twenty years old he was one of the workers to work in Sidney, Ohio on building the replacement bridge for the Big Four Bridge.

The original Big Four Bridge was completed in Sidney in 1853. It was called the Big Four Bridge because the railroad tracks connected Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis. Later it was also called the Bee Line Bridge. In 1913 the Greater Miami River overflowed its banks and did extensive damage to the Big Four Bridge so the Big Four Bridge was rebuilt in a new location to prevent further flood damage to the bridge.

I didn't get a chance to photograph this bridge so I'm going to refer you to a site where you can see a photo of the bridge and get more info. It is quite an impressive double track railroad bridge that is still in use by the New York Central Railroad. Someone on this site said it reminded them of a Roman aqueduct. And I agree. It reminds me of the Roman aqueduct in Trier, Germany. If I can find my old photo of Trier, I'll scan it in and add it to this blogpost.

One more comment. My father started courting my mother while he was still working on this bridge in Sidney, Ohio. He would send my mother post cards from Sidney and tell her when to expect him to show up on her door. And in the meantime what was my mother doing? She was working as a live-in nanny for her brother John whose wife had died and left him with two small sons, Adrian and Bob. This rebuilding of the Big Four Bridge was completed around 1923 or 1924 and my mother and father's courtship was completed in 1926 when they were married on August 3'rd.

Double click here for the Big Four Bridge website: http://www.historicbridges.org/ohio/bigfour/index.htm

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