August 26, 1929 & “The Champlain Bridge”

 

Mon., 26  This is the day of the Champlain Bridge opening to traffic. A hot day. No morning devotions. Mrs. Muellier comes to give Helen a treatment. Ruth, Grace & I go down in Tuttle’s (sic). We see the floats & decorated cars. Barbara Stevens of St. Albans comes to speak to us & brings her Grandparents to meet us. We go home & get dinner & start out again. Get into a ten mile procession & do not get to the bridge. The Free Press publishes my dedication poem. The estimate of the crowd is 40,000 people, in thousands of cars, beautifully decorated & wonderful floats. The 2 governors meet in the middle of the Bridge.

THE CHAMPLAIN BRIDGE

Hands across the chasm!
No longer need we wait
To unite our varied interests
With our sister State.
Hands across the chasm
While the shining waters flow,
Subdued but not impeded,
On their steady course below!

Champlain was thrilled with rapture
When he saw this water-way,
A gem in the wilderness
At that eventful day.
A gem of flashing loveliness
With its islands all untrod,
A painted scene in wonderland
Fresh from the brush of God.

The Red Man left his imprint here,
A wild and shrouded lore,
Descendant of some nomad race,
As he camped along the shore.
He left no record of the years
Unnumbered as the passed,
The secret of his origin
In deepest mystery cast.

Names for us to conjure with . . .
Ft. Frederic, Crown Point, Ti!
Reminders of the gallant men
Who dared to do and die!
Subduers of the wilderness,
Of hostile foes the dread . . .
Baker, Warner, Allen!
By supremest courage led!

Of the hardships they endured
We can but faintly know . . .
We breathe the air of freedom
And safe our hearthstones glow,
Then let us spare a thought today
Amid our many joys,
A fitting homage pause to pay
To our Green Mountain Boys.

We stand on hallowed ground
Who cross this structure fair,
We marvel at its symmetry,
Its service all may share.
Days and weeks and months . . . !
The discouragements they brought,
Each one with unsolved problems,
Each one with vision fraught!

And these were living men,
Who toiled in wet and cold,
Who bore the burden, paved the way
This structure to unfold.
Inch by inch, foot by foot,
Its firm foundations grew . . .
Of all its finished magnitude
But the patient workmen knew.

They saw in its completeness
This gateway to the State,
The vision may have been to them
The urge to stimulate
The faithful toil they gave each day
While from the waters rose
This bond of union, shore to shore,
In its beauty and repose.

We have left the days of pioneers,
There is wilderness no more,
There are farms along our lovely vales
And farms along the shore.
There are villages among our hills
And cities here and there . . .
Of the things that make for happiness
We have an ample share.

Hands across the chasm!
No longer need we wait
To unite our varied interests
With our sister State.
Hands across the chasm
While the shining waters flow,
Subdued but not impeded,
On their steady course below!

August 26, 1929

 

anyone who is interested in resources about the Bridge, here’s a site:  https://www.dot.ny.gov/programs/LCBCommemoration/repository/FINAL_DRAFT_Historic_Resource_Guide.pdf

 

Ella’s poem is mentioned on page 43.

 

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This entry was posted in 1929 Ella's Diary, DIARIES, Frank Tuttle, From the H. Sheldon Museum, Grace Fisher, Helen Fisher Smith, PEOPLE, Poems, Ruth Fisher and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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