A span that withstood time
STORY & PHOTOS
By William D. Lewis
Nestled deep in the heart of Mill Creek Park is a treasure that dates back more than 100 years.
The Suspension Bridge, also known as the Silver bridge, Cinderella bridge or Fairy Tale bridge, has been a favorite for generations of park visitors.
The bridge’s aesthetic lines and view of Mill Creek have drawn artists, photographers and folks who find solitude there.
Built in 1895 by the Youngstown Bridge Co., the 86-foot-long structure spans Mill Creek joining the park’s east and west sides on Valley Drive. It is the historic park’s oldest bridge.
According to Mill Creek MetroPark’s website, park founder Volney Rogers, in 1891, wished to create fanciful entrances to the park.
Bridge designer Charles E. Fowler of Youngstown Bridge certainly accomplished Roger’s wishes in his use of spires and arches in the historic bridge.
Motorists crossing the Silver bridge often slow down or stop to take in the view. Most pedestrians crossing the span pause to listen to the sound of Mill Creek below while some pull out a camera and snap a few photos.
One such pedestrian crossing the bridge on a recent day was Jack Duer, a retired Liberty police officer who, along with his dog Token, paused to take in the view. “This bridge is beautiful, and I just love this park,” said Duer, a frequent park visitor.
With most things that have surpassed the 100-year mark, time took its toll on the structure, and the iconic span needed some upgrading. In 2007, the bridge underwent a $523,000 restoration project to preserve its aesthetic features and keep it structurally sound.
In 1976, the bridge earned placement on the National Register of Historic Places.