19th Century Ti — Rebuilding Frazier Bridge

Maury Thompson
2 min readApr 5, 2020


This is the latest in an occasional series of posts about news reported in 19th century weekly issues of the Ticonderoga Sentinel.

“An animated discussion ensued” at the Board of Town Auditors meeting the previous Saturday over design of a structure to replace the Frazier Bridge, the Ticonderoga Sentinel reported on April 11, 1874.

The general consensus was that a stone bridge would be the most cost efficient in the long-run, but the length of time it would take to construct a stone structure would interrupt transportation too long.

A “Mr. Arnold,” who apparently was an engineering consultant, outlined three options for constructing an iron bridge, at costs ranging from $1.025 to $1,925, depending on type of materials.

But a “Mr. Calkins,” a board member, argued that the “immediate tax would be burdensome,” and recommended building a wood bridge for $700.

Arnold said a wood bridge would only last six to eight years, but Calkins said a properly constructed oak and pine bridge would last 12 to 15 years, and by that time the tax base might be able to afford constructing a stone bridge.

There also was debate about the design.

“Then too, objections were raised, based on the opinion of a prominent engineer, that the rise in the arch was not sufficient proportionate to the span to sustain it. But this point Mr. Arnold combated and has since cited authorities in support of his position.”

In the end, the board voted 4–2 in favor of the medium-price iron bridge at a cost of $1,200 plus about $300 for masonry and sidewalks, a total cost of about $1,500 — the equivalent of about $34,000 in 2020 dollars.

In Hague, meanwhile, government was at peace.

“Our town meeting came off yesterday in a very quiet manner, no rum or excitement,” the Hague correspondent reported.

There was an encouraging sign in Ticonderoga weather.

“We believe that the first croquet game of the season was played on Wednesday.”

But spring-like weather did not last.

“Friday morning the ground was covered with several inches of ‘beautiful snow.’”

A local employer was coming out of hibernation.

“The Woolen Mill, which has been quiet since last November, begins to look like business again. The machinery is being put in order and Monday work of manufacturing fancy Cassimeres will be resumed.”

The Farmers and Merchants Assembly elected the following officers at its recent annual meeting at the Central House: W.A.G. Arthur, president; John A. Pinchin and E. Bailey, vice presidents; and Charles L. Wicker, treasurer.

The following titles were among new books available for sale at the F. Weed store: “The Land of the White Elephant” by Frank Vincent Jr., “Ninety-Three,” a novel by Hugo, and “Anecdotes of Public Men” by J. W. Forney.

Click here to read the most recent previous post in the series.



Maury Thompson

Freelance history writer and documentary film producer from Ticonderoga, NY