Historic High Bridge

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High Bridge, Wellston, MI 49689, United States

ARCHITECT: Wisconsin Bridge Company

In the late 1880s a 96 foot high/1,200 foot long iron truss railroad bridge called High Bridge, was constructed across the Big Manistee River. The bridge was used primarily for the then Pere Marquette Railroad and later Manistee and Northeastern Railroad. This was the highest rail bridge in Michigan at the time.

After nearly seven decades of use the bridge was torn down in 1955 and replaced by a two-lane country road bridge. The foundations and a few pilings of remnants of the once magnificient structure can still be seen today.

1 Comment

  1. GlassHalfEmpty

    Hello. The Manistee and Northeastern RR never used the High Bridge, which was on the Pere Marquette line between Baldwin and Kaleva. For context, the Pere Marquette RR had purchased the M&NE in the early 1930’s, and had always operated the M&NE as a separate entity. Since both railroads ran north from Kaleva to Traverse City, the redundant M&NE trackage was abandoned from Kaleva to Interlochen and up to Lake Ann. After the Chesapeake and Ohio purchased the Pere Marquette in 1948, it became apparent that High Bridge would have to come down, which ultimately happened in 1955 after fully merging with the M&NE, and the rails between Baldwin and Kaleva were subsequently removed. Thus, all C&O traffic was routed from Baldwin to Manistee on former PM trackage, and then to Kaleva over the former M&NE line, where trains could rejoin the former PM line north to Traverse City.

    The old High Bridge site is approximately 2000′ upstream from the current North High Bridge Road bridge.


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