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Old 07-26-2013, 09:11 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,436 times
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Found this site while researching a boyhood memory.

Wonder if anybody has an answer. My paternal grandparents moved to Southwood Village in Bradenton in 1960. They were not beachgoers.

In 1963, our family visited for 1st time. I was 8, sisters 7 & 9, mom (now 83). Dad (now deceased) had to miss the trip at the last minute. Anyway, we all vividly remember a trip to the beach in Grandpa's '59 Buick.

We crossed a dilapidated wooden bridge very slowly. Mom was in the backseat. My younger sister (we think in the front seat with Grandma & Grandpa, neither of whom could swim) remembers my mom talking about who she would rescue if we went in the water, my sister wondered/doubted it would be her. I remember thinking even the 3 adults in the car were nervous. It was a pretty lengthy span as I remember it (to an 8 year old anyway). It seemed to sway and the boards creaked and clacked loudly.

My mom only remembers that we went to the beach that day, doesn't know where. She thinks we met up at the beach with friends of my grandparents that may have lived in Sarasota.

We all remember that we only crossed the bridge on the way there. My older sister recalls that Grandpa asked about a different route back, apparently there was an alternate route and he got directions for it.

On subsequent visits ('68, '72, '74 and beyond), when our family visited, we always went to Coquina Beach.

After researching, I was originally convinced we might have been on the old wooden bridge from Cortez to Anna Maria Island, thinking it may have remained after the new Cortez Bridge was opened in '57. But eventually I discovered a photo that showed the wooden bridge was removed from the mainland side in '57, even before the new bridge was completed. So I was back to square one.

I have looked and looked for other rickety wooden bridges that were still (barely) crossable in '63 to beaches near Bradenton but have struck out.

Is anybody here old enough to remember such a wooden bridge that still existed in the summer of '63 near Bradenton?
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Old 07-26-2013, 11:52 AM
 
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Not old enough to remember, but did a little research, and apparently the Cortez Bridge used to be an old wooden bridge according to this article:

http://www.annamariaislandlife.com/a...-maria-island/

That was probably it.

ETA: Here is more about it:

http://cdm16681.contentdm.oclc.org/c.../id/4980/rec/6
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:24 PM
 
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Thanks for the reply. That is the one I had also thought was the most likely. But as mentioned, the old wooden Cortez Bridge was actually dismantled before the '57 bridge was completed.

Here are two pix that eliminated that bridge as the one.

First shot was from '56, the wooden bridge still in use. View is looking from Anna Maria Island back across to the mainland. Today, you can park down by a bait shop on the mainland and look at where the road curved onto the old bridge and see where it has been walled off. On the Bradenton Beach side, they used the remnants of the old bridge as a fishing pier until about '78 when it was so far gone, they rebuilt a new fishing pier still in use at the same spot where the old bridge came across (Bridge St.).

Nearly completed Cortez bridge. :: Historic Images

The 2nd pic was taken in '57 just before the final roadway section was put in place. Also looking at the mainland (you can get the perspective from the location of the drawbridge and fenders). Obviously, the wooden bridge is now completely missing as mentioned in the written description under the pic. It is this picture that proved to me that the old Cortez wooden bridge was long gone by '63.

The 1957 Cortez Bridge to Anna Maria is almost ready. :: Historic Images


I also considered a wooden bridge that ran out to St. Armands and Lido Key. If I understand the note associated with this pic taken in 1949, it was a wooden bridge.

Florida Memory - Aerial view looking north over the Golden Gate Point subdivision in Sarasota, Florida.

But it also was replaced by a new bridge in '57 and removed at that time from what I can tell.

Anybody else have an idea?

Last edited by John V.; 07-26-2013 at 01:32 PM.. Reason: edited links
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:27 PM
 
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Okay, I guess I don't know how to paste links to this site, maybe somebody can fix for me.
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Old 07-26-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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Sorry, either it wasn't this area or you are just not remembering the correct date. I think Cortez was the only one.
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Old 07-26-2013, 03:07 PM
 
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I won't go into the reasons why I know, but the summer '63 date is certain.

Not sure what you would include in "this area", but since we don't know exactly where the bridge was located, it is very possible we were further from Bradenton than I would have guessed. But it was just a day trip to the beach, so we have reason to believe it was not more than a couple hrs from their house in Southwood Village.

However, there were numerous wooden bridges at the time of the wooden Cortez Bridge around the area.

There was a wooden humpback bridge that connected St. Armands and Lido Key but it remained well into the '70s so I doubt we would remember crossing that bridge in '63, I think it was probably pretty solid and fairly short. Pretty positive the bridge we crossed was relatively flat.

There was the wooden Ringling Causeway but it may be the one I mentioned in the earlier post, pic from 1949. Anybody that can confirm that to be true and was it dismantled in '57?

One possibility that I have not been able to find out much about is an old wooden bridge on Midnight Pass Rd. on Siesta Key.

This bridge collapsed in the Spring 1965. See this article (if the link works, cut & paste if it doesn't).

Sarasota Herald-Tribune - Google News Archive Search

But I can't find out anything else about it and don't know if there was an alternate route back to Bradenton once you crossed it. The fact that it collapsed in '65 makes me think it would have been in rough shape in '63.

Anybody know anything about the Midnight Pass Rd. wooden bridge on Siesta Key?
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:48 PM
 
260 posts, read 855,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John V. View Post
Found this site while researching a boyhood memory.

Wonder if anybody has an answer. My paternal grandparents moved to Southwood Village in Bradenton in 1960. They were not beachgoers.

In 1963, our family visited for 1st time. I was 8, sisters 7 & 9, mom (now 83). Dad (now deceased) had to miss the trip at the last minute. Anyway, we all vividly remember a trip to the beach in Grandpa's '59 Buick.

We crossed a dilapidated wooden bridge very slowly. Mom was in the backseat. My younger sister (we think in the front seat with Grandma & Grandpa, neither of whom could swim) remembers my mom talking about who she would rescue if we went in the water, my sister wondered/doubted it would be her. I remember thinking even the 3 adults in the car were nervous. It was a pretty lengthy span as I remember it (to an 8 year old anyway). It seemed to sway and the boards creaked and clacked loudly.

My mom only remembers that we went to the beach that day, doesn't know where. She thinks we met up at the beach with friends of my grandparents that may have lived in Sarasota.

We all remember that we only crossed the bridge on the way there. My older sister recalls that Grandpa asked about a different route back, apparently there was an alternate route and he got directions for it.

On subsequent visits ('68, '72, '74 and beyond), when our family visited, we always went to Coquina Beach.

After researching, I was originally convinced we might have been on the old wooden bridge from Cortez to Anna Maria Island, thinking it may have remained after the new Cortez Bridge was opened in '57. But eventually I discovered a photo that showed the wooden bridge was removed from the mainland side in '57, even before the new bridge was completed. So I was back to square one.

I have looked and looked for other rickety wooden bridges that were still (barely) crossable in '63 to beaches near Bradenton but have struck out.

Is anybody here old enough to remember such a wooden bridge that still existed in the summer of '63 near Bradenton?
I know there was an old wooden bridge that was very narrow and the water would splash over it. My husband was born in 1957 and raised in B'ton. He has told me several times when his father drove over it he laid on the floorboard of the car and cried. If I remember his story correctly 2 cars could not pass each other. His family had a home in Palma Sola near 75th St N and 9th Ave W. He's told me stories of growing up out there. It was country living. The family didn't have much extra money, there were 6 kids, so when they got hungry between meals they would get a piece of fruit off one of the many fruit trees for a snack. They would also go to the bay and fish and dig up clams for meals. He also told me about the tortises that would roam around out there. If you want me to show him your post I will and he will be able to tell you when it was he went over the bridge. Looks like your his age. He's out of town now and will be back tomorrow afternoon.

Last edited by planthappy; 07-29-2013 at 05:50 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-11-2013, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by planthappy View Post
I know there was an old wooden bridge that was very narrow and the water would splash over it. My husband was born in 1957 and raised in B'ton. He has told me several times when his father drove over it he laid on the floorboard of the car and cried. If I remember his story correctly 2 cars could not pass each other. His family had a home in Palma Sola near 75th St N and 9th Ave W. He's told me stories of growing up out there. It was country living. The family didn't have much extra money, there were 6 kids, so when they got hungry between meals they would get a piece of fruit off one of the many fruit trees for a snack. They would also go to the bay and fish and dig up clams for meals. He also told me about the tortises that would roam around out there. If you want me to show him your post I will and he will be able to tell you when it was he went over the bridge. Looks like your his age. He's out of town now and will be back tomorrow afternoon.

Please ask him! I've run out of other leads. Maybe he remembers the same bridge our family does.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:24 PM
 
260 posts, read 855,616 times
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I did ask him and he says it was the cortez bridge. He was born in 57 so he would have probably been 4 or 5. He had relatives that lived out there so he went over probably once a month. He lived in B'ton until his mid 30's and as I said he was born there also. He did say 2 cars could pass but barely. I also remember him telling me about it when we were dating in the 80's. He showed me where his relatives lived and mentioned the people that lived out on the island were pretty much all poor people. I've heard his whole family laugh about him on the floorboard many times. His parents were also born and raised in B'ton but unfortunately they have passed on.
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Old 08-12-2013, 07:47 PM
 
260 posts, read 855,616 times
Reputation: 372
Maybe this site will help you

Florida Memory - Search Results
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