Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Californians come to Wisconsin

Jim and Merrilee Reid came to town to visit last week, completing their trip around Lake Michigan following the Class Reunion, including a stop (for Jim) at the Packer Hall of Fame and Lambeau Field in Green Bay.

We enjoyed dinner at one of Hudson's fine downtown restaurants, then ambled out onto the Old Toll Bridge (also known as the Dike Road) that is a local landmark, where a passerby snapped this photo for us.  At one point in time Highway 12 traversed across this bridge and on into Minnesota, the connection between Chicago/Milwaukee/Madison and the Twin Cities.  

The lights in the background may be either boats or the I-94 bridge that replaced the section we were standing on.  Minnesota is on the right, and Wisconsin on the left.

A little history may be of interest for you:

The Hudson Toll Bridge was built in 1913, and it closed in 1951 after a new US-12 bridge was built one-half mile downstream. Today, people refer to the bridge as the Old Toll Bridge. Toll income from the bridge resulted in City of Hudson residents paying little or no property taxes for many years.

The hill on the Minnesota side on which the bridge would finish was steep, causing problems for some automobiles.

Old timers recall that Ford Model T cars often had a hard time climbing the bridge on the Minnesota side. Those cars had a transmission with metal bands. As the bands wore down, they would begin to slip. Drivers often found that they could back up the hill since reverse was used much less and the reverse band in the transmission would not be wore down quite as far.

A point of information: property taxes may have been low or non-existent for years until 1951, but they have since caught up.  Stan and Richard, the part about the Model T is for you.

And there's your travel tour for the day.  Come on up and visit sometime!

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