Monday, May 22, 2006

Old photos of the Old Cooper River bridge..

Now that the last of the Grace bridge has been blasted down, I would like to share some photos from the Boyd family album taken when the Grace was going up.

My grandmother was into the Charleston hospitality industry early on. She was f&b at the Charleston Country Club in the early 1920s, ran a boarding house in the late 20s and was head of a Navy Yard canteen (kitchen/messhall) during WWII.

Her boarding house on Meeting Street was home to several steel workers on the 2-lane Grace bridge as well as a supervisor. Since he was a guy in charge, he took my grandmother up onto the bridge in the middle of construction. It's 1928 and no hard hat for Granny. There she was in her stylish cloche hat, dusty patent leather shoes and a prim purse next to the tracks used to haul steel up the span.

He also gave her several photographs that I shared with the Post and Courier when it was doing a 75th anniversary issue about the bridge.

The Boyd bridge connection continued in 1946 when my dad, her son, worked on the Bailey Bridge to reconnect the Grace when the span was knocked out.

Finally, during a visit in 1964, I was able to balance a camera and snap a picture while driving over the Grace in heavy 2-way traffic as I had done many times while growing up in Charleston. (Many times driving over the bridge, not many times taking pictures.)

I survived that crossing.

Yes, I do have a LARGE piece of the Grace on display in my home.

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At Mon May 22, 04:04:00 PM , Blogger JanetLee said...

Wow. That last picture of the two way traffic reminded me of a story my mother's cousin tells of when he was a police officer with the city of Charleston around that time. They offered "drive over" services. One officer would drive your car over, the other would drive you over in the patrol car. He also told of oncoming trucks having to pull in their mirrors as they passed.

At Tue May 23, 07:31:00 PM , Anonymous Joan said...

Those are wonderful pictures!

At Sat Oct 23, 10:39:00 AM , Anonymous John J. Blair said...

The McClintic-Marshal Construction Company built the Grace Bridge. I bellieve that the 8-ton Vulcan gasoline locomotive used on that project went on to be used at the New York Ordnance Works near Baldwinsville, NY during WWII. I need photos of that locomotive.

At Sun Oct 24, 10:53:00 PM , Anonymous Chuck Boyd said...

Sorry John, No pictures of the engine that hauled steel up the Grace bridge in 1928-1929. Good luck in your search.


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