These workmen are putting the finishing touches on a large sitting area on the Columbia River Highway bridge over Eagle Creek. It's one of those great details you can easily miss at modern travel speeds.
The photo is dated November 12, 1915. I understand most of the stone masons on the Columbia River Highway project were Italian immigrants.
You can still visit this bridge and enjoy the sitting area. Here are some more recent pictures. Note how much more of the bridge is underwater, as this spot is just upriver from the Bonneville Dam.
I was just reading about this bridge last night on the very same link you posted.
With the high water, it has lost some of its charismatic beauty.
Definitely more flow to the water.
It looks like it may have been a nice, mild November day.
l.e. on 5th February 2013 @ 7:26am
That highway construction was truely a marvel. Too bad more of it has not been saved, however, guess one should be glad that there is some left.
I don't know about the Italians, but know that on the forerunner road that Chinese laborers were used.
charlott on 5th February 2013 @ 7:32am
Yes, a great picture...I see they are still working on the under side of the arch also. And I agree with Charlott on both counts. My deceased brother John who retired from ODOT was sad and disappointed with his employer that the Mitchell point/tunnel portion of the highway wasn't saved during the freeway build....ODOT could have done that but chose not to. Another of the many arguments to save our history...Those trips from HR to Portland for me always seemed to end with car sickness......nothing but endless curves and in the back seat......getting to the 12 mile corner meant the curves were OVER.
Arlen Sheldrake on 5th February 2013 @ 8:57am
I love Oregon's heritage of stone bridges and covered bridges. I grew up in Eugene, and my dad knew where all the old bridges (mostly covered) were. Our Sunday drives visited them regularly.
db on 5th February 2013 @ 9:05am
I wonder if there are any master stone masons left in Italy, or if the craft died out on both sides of the Atlantic.
db on 5th February 2013 @ 9:07am
My fuzzy memory says this isn't a "stone bridge" but something like concrete with a stone covering.........
Arlen Sheldrake on 5th February 2013 @ 9:48am
Well Arlen, your fuzzy memory is pretty clear.
Arthur's link says a "The concrete-arch bridge is faced with stone".
I found a little blurb in a book that shows the men working. It says, ... a crew of nine Italian immigrant stonemasons build the dry-masonry retaining walls for the Columbia River Highway...Gene Piro...Raffaele Curilo, and boss Mr. Camelleo are pictured. These men were imported from Italy to apply their skill for this visionary highways project. Seventeen bridges built ....combined utilitarian and aesthetic principles with each bridge unique to its site situation. Italian stonemasons excavated native stone to blend the walls and bridges into the rocky hillsides....These craftsmen also laid the foundation for Vista House....without the use of cement or mortar.
l.e. on 5th February 2013 @ 11:43am
Did these same stonemasons build the Riverside Church across from the HR Library as well as a number of stone houses in The Dalles?
nels on 5th February 2013 @ 2:35pm