Purchase a limited edition hand painted ornament for $100 in downtown Charlevoix at Elements Gallery. Your purchase directly contributes to the Bridge Drop fireworks fund.


The 1901-1947 bridge was the second swing bridge over the lower channel. The first one, 1878-1901, was perfectly symmetrical and sat precisely in the middle of the channel.  Because lake boats were getting larger, the channel needed to be widened if Charlevoix was to remain an important port. This alteration moved the turntable foundation several yards to the north, resulting in an asymmetrical bridge. At first, it was swung by hand, like its predecessor, but vastly increased maritime traffic through Charlevoix necessitated a switch to steam power by the end of 1901. By the end of the 1930s, after years of loyal service and uncounted thousands of openings, it was apparent a new bridge was going to be needed soon. Plans were drawn up by 1941, but the advent of World War II late that year shelved the plans, which were placed in the basement of City Hall. So the bridge lasted another six years beyond its intended lifetime. After the war, the plans were retrieved and approved by the State of Michigan. The bridge was torn out in 1947 to be replaced by the current bridge which went into service 22 months later, in June of 1949.  -  David Miles, Curator, Charlevoix Historical Society